September 18, 1849 (Tuesday)

Beautiful day.

Went to the Musical Fund Hall this evening to hear the New Orleans Serenaders.  They are the best company I ever heard; their instrumental and vocal performance were both really excellent.

Nathan first mentions the Musical Fund Hall on January 4 when he saw the Moravian impresario and composer Max Maretzek.

The New Orleans Serenaders were a minstrelsy group, that is, as their broadsides state, “delineators of the Ethiopian character,” founded in 1841.  They claimed to be the oldest such company in existence.  Their specialty was opera burlesque or parodies of popular operas.  The cast in 1849 was all male, but that did not stop them from imitating the likes of Jenny Lind, Anna Bishop, and Rosine Laborde.  On this night in Philadelphia, they concluded their performance with a musical burlesque called Distin-guished Six Horn Performers, a send up of the Distin family who Nathan saw on February 10.

Earlier in the year, Nathan became enamored with another minstrelsy group, the Virginia Serenaders.  He saw them several times before losing interest.

from the American Antiquarian collections: BDSDS.1849

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