Maretzek Italian Opera: I puritani

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Angelo Torriani

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
16 January 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

26 Apr 1867, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka The Puritans
Composer(s): Bellini
Text Author: Pepoli


Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 21 April 1867, 4.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 25 April 1867, 8.
Announcement: New York Post, 26 April 1867.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 26 April 1867, 7.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 26 April 1867, 8.
Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 27 April 1867, 4.

“Bellini’s Puritani contains no element of conquest essentially new to a prima donna who has fully triumphed in La Sonnambula. There is charming room in it, however, for such powers as those of Senora Peralta to grow upon the favor of a metropolitan audience, such as last night gave her brilliant performance as brilliant a hearing. I Puritani affords the same kind of test of vocal qualitites as the Sonnambula; if we except the heroic character of its music for male voices—the same exuberant tenderness and exquisite pathos in a wilderness of the beautiful vices of fiorituri. For the rest, it is true Bellinian music, choicely and delicately worked in all parts, from soprano to bass, and from chorus to orchestra. The finales of all the acts are wrought with taste and dignity, and represent some of the highest demands of the work. They were given with delightful eloquence and force last evening, thanks, first of all, to the happy abandon and touching purity of Peralta’s expression. In no passage of a part so vocally rich as that of Elvira do we remember her to have been uninteresting, and in the few arias to which audiences occasionally look for miracles of execution, her success was more or less startling to the habitual opera-goes. The stage of the Academy, for many seasons, has not entertained a piece of lyric delivery more florid and brilliant in its way than Peralta’s ‘Vien, diletto,’ and this is to be said even in memory of Parepa’s bounteous style, which that of our new donna resembles so felicitously in the single characteristic of ease. Perfect youth seems to be another quality of her best vocalization, and we take from this fact the assurance of her growth in time to come. In the charming air already referred to, the joyousness of her manner, and the freedom of her shake and trill were remarkable enough to provoke from her audience enthusiastic ‘bravos’ and plaudits. There is in her least emphatic expression a perceptible hint of immaturity, and in her action a suggestion of artifice; nor does she seem always profoundly sympathetic. But it is unquestionable that Manager Maretzek has introduced to us a voice the success of which admits of but one opinion. In the rendering of last night Senora Peralta was supported by Baragli in the part of Arthur, and by Bellini and Antonucci in the two famous Puritan roles, these latter artists winning joint and ready honors in the noble music of the Liberty duet. It is not always that the voice of Signor Bellini is thoroughly musical, though it is common enough to praise everything which this vigorous lyric actor performs. Less ambitious as an actor, Signor Antonucci was last night more satisfactory as a singer. The falsity and superfineness of Signor Baragli’s manner need no extended criticism; they are not to be improved, and it is to his credit that they did not utterly spoil some of his best intentions in the part of Arturo. His tenor is of gossamer quality, and becomes faint in the excess of its rapture; but we must do him the justice to say that with all the faults of an artificial style, the delicacy and appreciation of an artist can be sometimes manifested in his expression. The general performance last evening was quite in harmony with its leading success.”        

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 April 1867, 8.

[beginning of review illegible] Since the days of Henrietta Sontag, no other female singer has created such waves of enthusiasm in the audience like Peralta last night. Rarely does one hear such sweetness in a voice, such a perfect performance, and such a fiery performance. She truly knows how to captivate an audience with the depth of her performance and nightingale-like voice.

Review: New York Sun, 29 April 1867, 4.

“M. Maretzek’s new prima donna from Mexico has repeated, as the mad heroine of ‘I Puritani,’ the success which marked her debut in ‘La Sonnambula.’ In appearance Senora Peralta is small and unimpressive, and, though interesting and pleasing, she looks at times older than she is. She gives the impression of one who had left sorrow or sickness at home, and who therefore had resigned every question of personal attraction as a hopeless one. One good point is her hair, which is splendidly profuse and exquisitely dark. But this want of mere physical advantages is redeemed by one of the finest and purest soprano voices ever given by nature and refined by art.

As a vocalist, Senora Peralta has shown in Amina and Elvira the volubility, the ease and sweetness of a bird. We are certain that had she been heard in ‘Sonnambula’ at the beginning of the season, instead of the end, she would have been permitted to sing nothing but ‘Sonnambula’ for a month. Her tones in the grand aria, ‘Ah, non guinge,’ are as a silver bell, [?] as brilliant and sparkling as a diamond. Her voice, which is impli[?] under her command, seems capable of obeying the most daring caprices, and [?] her scales, trills and bravura are made most dazzling. She excels in the efforts of [?] embroidery, but her seeming passion for ornamentation does not tempt her to disregard the dramatic situation in giving way to her torrents of fioriture.”  

Review: New-York Times, 29 April 1867, 5.

“Senora Peralta has had an opportunity, in ‘I Puritani,’ of increasing the favorable impression of her début. The role of Elvira affords her room for a touching representation of the mind of a young girl, full of hope and happiness, crushed and blighted in a moment by a sudden calamity, and in her rare utterance of the expressive music in which Bellini has embalmed the part. Senora Peralta’s clear, brilliant and singularly flexible voice has been heard to the utmost advantage. Her polacca, ‘son vergine [vergin] vezzosa,’ was richly embroidered, but it is noticeable that however luxuriant Senore Peralta’a embellishments may be, she avoids with rare delicacy, the common fault of introducing ornaments at variance with the air or the situation. She gave full vent to her exuberance in the rondo by Rossi, which she introduced in the finale of the opera, however, and the effect of her display was a fervid response from the audience and an emphatic recall. Although it must be stated that the new prima donna does not exhibit in action any greatness of conception or depth of feeling, yet the irresistible charms of her singing make her hearers oblivious of her defects in histrionism.”