Maretzek Italian Opera: La sonnambula

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Angelo Torriani

Price: $1.50

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
22 January 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

04 May 1867, Matinee

Program Details

Last performance of the season. Mme. Peralta's "positively last appearance."

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Sleepwalker; Nachtwandlerin
Composer(s): Bellini
Text Author: Romani


Review: New York Musical Gazette, May 1867, 60.

“The Italian Opera season closed May 4th with a Matinee.  ‘La Sonnambula’ was the Opera performed, and in it the new Mexican star Senora Angela Peralta sustained the role of Amina.  Her debut here was a decided success and caused many regrets that she had not come to us earlier in the season.  Her voice is one of the purest sopranos, and her style as pure as her voice, singing as if unconscious of an audience present; simply giving expression to her own emotions as she enters into the character she interprets.  It is hoped that from her success, Maretzek will take a hint for another season.  The public as well as Mr. Maretzek will take pleasure in reviewing the past successful season just closed.   Since November 26th seventy-five performances have been given.  It began well, and increased continually in interest to the close.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 01 May 1867, 5.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 01 May 1867, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 02 May 1867.
Announcement: New York Post, 03 May 1867.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 03 May 1867, 4.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 03 May 1867, 8.
Article: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 04 May 1867, 616.

(…) The press had not announced the arrival of the new prima donna Angela Peralta for the Italian Opera as it usually does with newcomers. That is why the attendance of her debut performance was not high. However, “she came, sang and conquered”. (…) She possesses a very pleasant high soprano voice of light quality and accurate pitch, with which she sings the most difficult fioraturas. Her appearance was only for a short period which filled the house for all the following performances even more so. 

Article: New York Post, 04 May 1867.

“It [the season] has been as successful, both in an artistic and pecuniary sense, as any that we have had for years.  Mr. Maretzek has struggled with and overcome difficulties, disasters and discouragements that would have appalled a manager of ordinary nerve, and has come through them all bearing the laurels of a victory fairly and honorably won.  Every promise he has made the public has been faithfully kept, while—in addition to the attractions with which the public would have been satisfied—he has given us the extra attractions of two such prima donne as Parepa and Peralta.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 04 May 1867, 4.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 04 May 1867.
Review: New York Sun, 06 May 1867, 4.

“The last performance of Mr. Maretzek’s opera season was given at the Academy of Music on Saturday. La Sonnambula was the work represented—one of the sweetest of the bouquets of honey-melody that Bellini bequeathed to the world on his young deathbed . . . Senor Peralta, as before, uttered the lovely music that falls to Amina, with a strength and sweetness that has rarely been given between New York and Brooklyn, since November last, and its brilliant audience was a fitting compliment to Mr. Maretzek’s energy and enterprise in bringing his season through many trials, to a prosperous termination.” 

Review: New-York Times, 06 May 1867, 4.

“Saturday’s matinée of ‘La Sonnambula,’ with which Mr. MARETZEK brought to an end our term of opera, and abbreviated Señora PERALTA’S phenomenal and prospective successes, was brilliantly attended.  The operatic season, to which this performance marks the period, has been, so far as New-York is concerned, a varied—but not (under any consideration) an unsuccessful one.  If there was nothing else to mark it, the return of Signor RONCONI, the introduction of Mme. PAREPA, the debût of Señora PERALTA would have made it notable above preceding seasons.  But in other ways Mr. MARETZEK has made it remarkable—pre-eminently by the number and diversity of the works performed.  Since Nov. 26, when the unwise preliminary season was given at Winter Garden, up to and including Saturday, seventy-five performances were given.  Of these, nineteen were at Winter Garden, fifteen in Brooklyn and forty-one in the new Academy.  During the thirty-four nights and seven matinees in the new opera-house, as many as nineteen different works were represented—a feat, we believe, beyond parallel in either the London or Paris opera houses; these representations included a revival of ‘L’Africaine,’ and the production of one entirely new work, ‘The Carnival of Venice.’ In the whole season of sixty nights in New-York (not including the Brooklyn performances) twenty-one different works were performed, of which one opera by PETRELLA had six representations; one by RICCI had five, one by GOUNOD had five, one by ROSSINI had four; one by AUBER had three; one by HEROLD, three; one by MOZART, two; and FLOTOW was heard once, as a matter of course, in ‘Martha;’ BELLINI was enjoyed in three of his operas, which were listened to seven times in all; three of VERDI’S works had six representations; and four of DONIZETTI’S had seven; MEYERBEER, however, led all the others—eleven nights having been given to three of his operas.  Mr. MARETZEK had intended, we believe, to continue his season out of New-York with four weeks of opera at Chicago, but the labor excitement, which is monopolizing public attention in that city, has caused him to defer his trip, if he do not, indeed, abandon it altogether.”  

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 06 May 1867, 4.

“With the farewell of Senora Peralta, Mr. Maretzek’s annual season of Italian opera has ended brilliantly.  Its review is now in order, but we must perforce either be brief or repeat a twice-told tale.  Popularly, it has been as prosperous as manager or public could wish, for the success of standard and regular Italian opera is now a public need and indispensability.  But the impresario’s work this year tells us nothing new or varies but slightly from its predecessor.  There has been a shuffling of old cards, few attempts to present us new ones.  Except the Carnival, which has had a garish life of some half dozen years in Italy, and our maltreated Zampa, which underwent one night’s indifference in a former season, no work has been produced having the force of novelty.  The late programme has been for a great part a triplicate of its predecessors.  We do not say it has been a bad one, for Don Giovanni, The Star of the North, The African and a few more such works, if vocally fulfilled, seem sufficient to redeem any season; but, on the other hand, it has not been the best, not even what might have been expected of the first season’s repertory of the new Academy.  On the face of things our impresario has made little or no effort to refresh his season operatically, and doubtless intended at the start to resign himself to the inevitable flood-tide of good luck.  It has born him gallantly.  There has been a multitudinous hubbub in the African’s ship scene but captain and crew have really been at ease.  Unless it be the Carnival, no event of the season has excited them.  Consider the artists—they toil not, neither do they spin; yet there do exist somewhere in the bureau of managers reportorial treasures that a public, surfeited with the trite, sweet things heard night after night, would be glad to know.  How many of the half-dozen good things of Rossini that still keep the stage, do we hear in a season?  What has become of Semiramide, Gazza Ladra vivid still with all the brightness of the master’s genius and fame?  And what of Verdi, apart from Trovatore and Traviata?  We hear it said that no novelty has been offered because none can be found, unless it be Verdi’s Don Carlos, or Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, and these are not to be secured.  But the public does not so much ask for absolute novelty, as it begs earnestly to be relieved from absolute triteness.  Dozens of works, none of which are new, but whose production would be fresh, are easily at command of the manager; and there appears to be less excuse than ever for falling back on the old polite stock of opera, which interested our grandmothers, and which we could afford to forget for a season or two.  Music is a mine for any manager of capital.  Mr. Maretzek has a great mine at hand, a great capital and a well-earned monopoly.  His record is a princely one, nor should we forget that he has been the architect of opera in New York.  He is a manager without a rival, and, in this country, beyond comparison, and for these and other reasons, we must hold him to the high standard of his ability and resources.  All this we say in the interest of the next season.  Vocally, the riches of the past season have seemed plenty—a superabundance of prima donnas making amends for the fewness of tenors.  The season has given us two such artists as Parepa Rosa and Peralta, the latter a prize of Mr. Maretzek’s own discovery and seeking and a triumph for which high credit is justly due him for a good season.  In these respects no season could have been more fortunate, and it is after all unquestionable that our impresario deserves more credit for his singers than blame for his repertoire.”