Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
8 February 2016
“It is a significant sign of improvement in musical taste when the ‘field nights’ of the present opera season have been those devoted to the grander class of works. Certainly, ‘The Huguenots,’ which was received last season with very unsatisfactory pecuniary results, has been the most profitable production that Mr. MARETZEK has indulged in during the current subscription series. Last evening the Academy was again filled to listen to another capital performance of this monument of MEYERBEER’S talent. Mr. MARETZEK will certainly do well to draw on the sturdy masters more, and depend less on those lighter operas which now seem to possess but little power even in the case of an an essentially popular audience. The ‘Huguenots,’ from first to last a marvel of musical science, has met with the very kindliest reception this year, thanks, partly, to the beauty which shines through the master’s profoundest works, and partly on account of the mingled fire and delicacy which has marked the entire representation by the existing cast, which have at once put the audience in sympathy with the composer. Perhaps the best testimony to the genius which this work embodies is found in the rapt attention of such a crowd as that which greedily listened to every note last night. The applause at the end of the third act, a finale without a superior in any of MEYERBEER’S works, was hearty and prolonged, and was deserved as well by the excellence of the performance as by the beauty of the thing performed. Nothing better than Mme. PAREPA-ROSA’S Valentine, in this opera, and particularly in this act, can be well inmagined. And even if there should have been any present last evening who, like the guests at Lucretia Borgia’s funeral banquet, ‘have ears but hear not,’ even they must have esteemed Madame ROSA, for her general manner and impulsive demeanor in the scene. Senora PERALTA’S Queen is also a performance to be proud of having witnessed. Roll any two opera companies into one, and among the combined forces no more accomplished singer can be found than Senora PERALTA. It is a pleasant record to have to make that she was received as she deserved. Nothing, either, can be more manly, vigorous and thoroughly artistic than Sig. ANASTASI’S Raoul. Mme. TESTA displays her native energy and admirable voice to everybody’s entire satisfaction in the part of Urban, and certainly Sig. ORLANDINI must not be forgotten in these brief praises for a worthy and even Nevero. Sig. BELLINI and Sig. MEDINI has already been remembered. The singers of the chorus in this opera, which is full of effective ensembles, is remarkably good, and the choristers seem not only to know how to sing, but even to understand what they are singing. The orchestra, too, seserves a tribute, and Mr. BERGMAN several of them, for his intelligent superintendence and direction of the whole musical performance.”
The theater was completely filled. The opera is not only superbly cast; Max Maretzek also pleased the eye with lavish stage décor and costumes. The second act was appreciated the most when Peralta and Parepa-Rosa perform at the same time. Signor Medini as “Marcel” again proved that he is a diligent artist. Although he could not fully live up to his predecessor Formes, he still performed with clarity and all-in-all his performance was satisfactory. Signor Anastasi demonstrated his beautiful voice effectively as “Raoul”; that is all that we can say in his favor. The rest of the cast is well-known in their parts. They all gave their best to contribute to the success of the performance. Even the grand choruses of Meyerbeer’s masterwork were performed with precision and confidence for the most part. Bergmann conducted with understanding, attentiveness, and energy.