March 6, 2012

Park and Sex

Park Theatre

I'm flummoxed.

I had known that women singers of the 19th century were considered little more than prostitutes by those in Society, but it never occurred to me to as to why. Real smart, right? Well. After I wrote yesterday's post, I looked for the theatre where Manuel García performed in New York City in 1825 with his father's troupe. It turns out that it was at the Park Theatre which was located close to where City Hall is now. It was the only theatre in the city at that time and had close to two thousand seats. Guess what happened in the upper balcony according to this link?

Lower class men sat up there as well as ladies of the evening. Yep. Sex in the Family Circle- as it were. The police did nothing about it, a circumstance that was common to both Europe and the New World. 

So. Was another performance taking place when García was singing Leporello in Don Giovanni alongside his famous father as the dragged-to-hell-because-of-sexual-immorality Don?

I'd like to think the legendary tenor's singing stopped the show. But you never know, human nature being what it is. And you thought cellphones and texting interruptions were a big deal. Hello! 

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