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Bretton Hall (Manhattan)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Bretton Hall is a twelve-story residential building at 2350 Broadway spanning from West 85th to 86th Streets[1] on the Upper West Side[2] of Manhattan, New York City.

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  • Excerpt from Verdi's 'Falstaff' | Juilliard Fabio Luisi Vocal Arts Master Class
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("Alice, Meg, Nannetta" from Falstaff by Verdi) (singing in foreign language) (laughing) (singing in foreign language) (audience applauding) - Okay, very good. I think the last stave was a little bit too fast. Just, just so much. But it was fine, because what we need it's to understand every note, but not the words, because you are talking four different texts. So the important thing is to be precise, perfectly rhythmically, but we don't understand the words because everyone of you is singing something different. This is the joke in this. Good, let's start one more time from the top. ("Alice, Meg, Nannetta" from Falstaff by Verdi) (singing in foreign language) - That is Nannetta, it is too fast. Look, you are doing Nannetta, and I want you to say Nannetta. - Nannetta. - Nannetta. Nannetta. - Nanneta. - Nannetta, with a lot of sympathy. She's the youngest, okay? Nannetta, good, one more time. ("Alice, Meg, Nannetta" from Falstaff by Verdi) (singing in foreign language) - [Instructor] Good. (singing in foreign language) - Okay, stop. Can you explain what's happening in this scene? - So both Meg and I have just received letters, and we're coming to tell the whole group, "Look at this funny thing that's happened to us." So we're discussing, "Okay, you read the letter." "Okay well you read the letter." - Okay. (audience laughing) What is in this letter? - We find out that in the letter, we have this beautiful letter about "Let's take you the beautiful bride, "and me the merry groom and let's make a couple." And then Quickly has a great line, "Ah, a couple in three," because there's now three of us. - Okay, and they have the same letter, with the-- - Exactly. - With exactly the same words. So you give to her your letter, and you give to her your letter. It's the same letter, okay, good. And who is writing this letter? - Falstaff. - Falstaff is right. - And Falstaff-- - Why is he writing this letter? - He wants to seduce us for our money. - Not only for money. - And lots of (laughter drowns out speech). (laughing) - Okay, good, from the top again. Nannetta was perfect. (speaking foreign language) - Yeah. - Yeah, yes, okay. (speaking foreign language) Less, less vowels. (speaking foreign language) Mm hmm. ("Alice, Meg, Nannetta" from Falstaff by Verdi) (singing in foreign language) - Meg, when you start (speaking foreign language), think the mood in which Falstaff wrote this letter. So it's not neutral, it's the switching thing between the music which says what Falstaff is thinking and you who is reading it, but (singing in foreign language) A little bit sweet, okay? And also before, when you start reading the letter, (singing in foreign language) A little bit more big theater, hmm, okay. (vocalizing) ("Alice, Meg, Nannetta" from Falstaff by Verdi) (singing in foreign language) - Sorry, sorry to interrupt. (singing in foreign language) Different, yes. First you are reading, and then you are again in your words. Make two different course. Let's start one more time, please, from no, a little bit before, (speaking foreign language) (singing in foreign language) Very good. Can you try to make the phrase with only one dynamic? Now you are doing (singing in foreign language). You are developing those long notes. You can start a little bit louder if you want. You don't need to, because you have enough voice. So, beautiful legato, and without opening those vowels, those long notes, okay? (singing in foreign language) Okay, when you say (speaking foreign language), on the one side, you are making fun of it, but on the other side, "Ah, that's me!" "That's me." Donna bella, that's nice, actually. It's nice, but then (singing in foreign language). There you make fun of him, okay? One more time. That was much better (sings in foreign language). Don't start too, don't start too soft now (singing in foreign language). And then connect the phrase. You are doing (singing in foreign language). Where is this, (speaking foreign language), yes, (singing in foreign language) Are you breaking here? - Yes. - Yes, so. (speaks faintly) No, you can breathe, but (singing in foreign language). Don't interrupt the phrase, yes, okay? (vocalizing) (singing in foreign language) Is that all? We need more. We need more, think of the size of Falstaff. You are singing his size, okay? Good. Can we do it one more time? Last time today, maybe? (laughing) Okay. (singing in foreign language) (laughing) Okay. Beautiful. No, very good, very good. This is one of the most difficult parts of this scene. So, as we said yesterday, on the one side, you are making fun of him, on the other side, you have never heard such words from your husband. That's very new to you, that a man can talk that way to a woman. And it is beautiful to read those words. So you are happy now, okay, somehow, on the other side, it's Falstaff, and I'm not alone, they are here, and so they are watching me. So you have to switch between the two of them. - So like here with-- - Yes. For example, yeah, very good. (singing in foreign language) Think about yourself here. - Mm hmm. - They are beautiful words. And then, (singing in foreign language). Uh huh, hhey are here, so (singing in foreign language). Make a little bit more of this phrase, so (singing in foreign language) Yes. (laughing) Okay, good. Can you do it, this is such a beautiful phrase. And it is so beautiful that at the end of the act, all of you are singing this. Because it's especially beautiful and every one of you would like to have such a letter from Falstaff. Okay, good. That's okay. No, (vocalizing). (singing in foreign language) Take your time. (singing in foreign language) (laughing) Okay, if a conductor starts from nothing, nothing goes right. Okay? (all laughing) Good. (singing in foreign language) (laughing) Let's do it. (singing in foreign language) After that, G sharp, G sharp. Yes. (singing in foreign language) (laughing) (singing in foreign language) I think, take your time before the first (speaking foreign language) but now, (speaks foreign language)! Okay? (speaking foreign language) (singing in foreign language) (speaking foreign language) (singing in foreign language) Don't run, don't run, you are angry. Every syllable, each one of all those (vocalizes). One by one, okay? (speaking foreign language) (singing in foreign language) Not bad. You can make even more noise with the words. Especially the two of you. Okay? Not louder, just more, spit that word out, okay? One more time, just (vocalizes). One, two, one. (singing in foreign language) Very good, we did not understand one word. And this is-- (laughing) And this is what we want, it's exactly this, very good. 10 seconds' rest, and then we do it from the top. All the scene, okay? (laughing) (faintly chatting) In the opera house we normally, for staging, on this scene, how long is this, six minutes maybe? We work two hours. Because it's one of the most difficult parts of the opera in Verdi. Okay? Good. ("Alice, Meg, Nannetta" from Falstaff by Verdi) (singing in foreign language) (laughing) (singing in foreign language) (audience applauding)



It was completed in 1903, as the Hotel Bretton Hall,[3] as a residential hotel billing itself as the largest hotel uptown.[4] The architect was Harry B. Mulliken, of Mulliken and Moeller, who also designed the Cumberland Hotel, Thomas Jefferson Hotel, and the Spencer Arms Hotel on Broadway,[2] the Hotel Lucerne on Amsterdam Avenue at 79th Street, and the Van Dyck, the Severn, the Jermyn, and the Chepstow apartment buildings on the Upper West Side.[4]

The 86th Street Company received the unimproved property from Le Grand K. Petit with a mortgage of $90,000 on it. A building loan of $1,250,000 at 6% was secured from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on March 10, 1902. Afterward the 86th Street Company mortgaged the property for $1,365,000 at 6%, due October 1, 1903, to the General Building and Construction Company. John R. & Oscar L. Foley leased Bretton Hall to Anderson & Price for twenty-one years for a price of $2,394,000, for Irons & Todd, who comprised the Seaboard Realty and 86th Street Companies.[1]

In the early 1980s, an organization called Artists Assistance Services rented out apartments in the Bretton Hall to people in the arts, with the unusual proviso that they would have to share the use of the space with a "cultural activity" such as a karate class.[5]


When it opened in late 1903 the basement and deckhouse apartment hotel was fireproof and equipped with an electric plant and six elevators. The structure contained 187 suites, 506 rooms, 231 baths, and 385 toilet rooms. It fronted Broadway for 205 feet and 85th Street for 100.11 feet. Its rear measurement was 204.4 feet. Plans for Bretton Hall were filed on June 7, 1902 with an estimated cost of construction to be $1,550,000.[1]

The New York Produce Exchange Bank opened a branch at the Bretton Hall Hotel in November 1903. They leased offices in the edifice for a period of ten years for an annual rental between $2,500 to $3,500.[6] It was subsequently acquire by investor Benjamin Winter, Sr. who lost it in 1932 after filing for bankruptcy.[7]

Currently the red brick and limestone building has 461 rental apartments. Its facade employs cornerstones repeatedly, particularly above the central bay above the Broadway entrance. It has a large stainless steel marquee and a four-step-up entrance with a disabled ramp side approach. It is without a garage, sidewalk landscaping, health club, or roof deck. Bretton Hall employs a concierge and features ornamental balconies and other architectural attributes. Its fenestration is haphazard. Its facade exemplifies Beaux Arts architecture, yet it lacks the elaborate cornice it originally had. It was lost many years ago. Architect J.C. Calderon has redesigned the parapet in red brick with stone put down in alternating stripes. The restoration of the building cost $1,000,000.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Bretton Hall Leased, New York Times, August 18, 1903, pg. 10.
  2. ^ a b On Broadway: A Journey Uptown Over Time, David Dunlap, Rizzoli, 1990,
  3. ^ "Hotel Bretton Hall". The Independent. Jul 6, 1914. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Michael V. Susi, The Upper West Side 1988, illus. p 69.
  5. ^ "The Broadway blues", New York Magazine, 13 May 1985, p. 53.
  6. ^ New Bank On Upper Broadway, New York Times, New York Times, November 8, 1903, pg. F4.
  7. ^ "Banks Get Hotels for Winter's Debts – Bank of United States and 3 Others Acquire Bretton Hall, Stanhope and Other Realty – Get Delmonico Interest – Release Some of Properties Now Held for $2,090,330 Indebtedness – Court Approves Settlement". New York Times. December 3, 1932. p. 33. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  8. ^ Along Broadway Jettisoned Cornices Are Being Rebuilt,The New York Times, January 7, 2007, pg. 11.9.

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This page was last edited on 22 November 2018, at 23:12
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