Season 1, Episode 6: Heads Have Rolled for Less

The Opera War (4:48): In this scene at the van Rhijn house with Agnes, Ada and Marian we hear more about the opera houses.

Ada Brook: “I had a letter from Cousin Margaret this morning. She says the opera war is really heating up.

Marian Brook: “Why does there have to be a war? Why can’t the Academy create more boxes for the new people to rent?”

Agnes van Rhijn: “Because the Academy of Music is one of the last bastions of decency and standards in this city. We will not patronize any jumped-up opera house, however loud and gaudy it may be.”


Dorothy Scott Plays Beethoven (14:51): In this scene we hear Dorothy Scott playing the second movement from Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 “Pathétique.” Her daughter Peggy drops by and sweetly smiles for a moment as she listens to her mother until she is noticed.

Dorothy Scott: “Peggy. Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”

Peggy Scott: “Do I need an invitation?”

Dorothy Scott: “No, but they could have prepared something in the kitchen. And I’d have put off my piano student who’ll be here in a moment.”

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Mrs. Dorothy Scott (Audra McDonald) plays the piano while she waits.

Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO

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Painting by Joseph Karl Stieler of Beethoven with the manuscript for Missa Solemnis (1820)


Operas & Balls: Two Ingredients on Every Good Social Calendar (42:48)

A gathering at the Russel house including George and Bertha Russell, Charles and Aurora Fane, Ward McAllister, as well as Tom Raikes and Marian Brook includes this side conversation:

Marian Brook: “I suppose your life in New York, continues as splendidly as ever?”

Tom Raikes: “Not as splendid as this house. But I’m off to the opera again tonight, and I have a ball on Saturday with the Dreesmanns on Long Island.”A picture containing clothing, drawing, sketch, person

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Illustration of a night at the Academy of Music from 1866.