Academy of Music (Manhattan)

Academy of Music (Manhattan)

The Academy of Music was a theater and opera house located at East 14th Street and Irving Place in Manhattan, New York City. The Academy was built in 1854 and seated approximately 1,500 people. [ An article on the new building appeared in the Oct. 3, 1854 issue of the "New York Times", judging it to be acoustically good but an architectural disaster.] It was rebuilt in 1866 after being destroyed by fire.

The Academy has been described as “the first successful dedicated opera house in the United States" [cite journal
last = Bank
first = Rosemarie K.
title = review of "Democracy at the Opera House: Music, Theater, and Culture in New York City (1815-60) " by Karen Ahlquist.
journal = Journal of American History
volume = 87
issue = 2
pages = 664
date = September, 2000
id= 00218723
] The first opera season was 1854 from October through December. An Italian troupe was engaged by US actor James Henry Hackett. The repertoire for the first season was ambitious and included "Semiramide" and "The Barber of Seville" by Rossini; "la Favorita", "Norma", and "la Sonnambula" by Bellini; and "Don Pasquale", "Lucrezia Borgia" and "Lucia di Lammermoor" by Donizetti. From its inception, the Academy of Music not only presented opera and theater, but also served as a meeting and exposition hall for a wide variety of functions, including political rallies, charity balls, receptions, science & industry fairs, etc. In 1888 it began to include vaudeville. From January 28 to March 1901, a revival of Clyde Fitch's play "Barbara Frietchie" appeared there.

The venue was rented by labor organizations in the early 1900s and used to stage rallies. It was demolished in 1926 and a Con Edison building was constructed on the site.

A second Academy of Music, located across 14th Street and designed by Thomas W. Lamb, was opened in 1927 as a movie theater. It served as a venue for rock concerts in the 1970s, and in 1985 became the Palladium nightclub.

Notes and references

External links

* [ Various pictures of the Academy at the New York Public Library site]
* [ Academy of Music interior from "Pictorial Diagrams of New York Theatres - 1883"]
* [ Cinema Treasures | Academy of Music]

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