Richings English Opera: Satanella

Event Information

Niblo's Garden

Manager / Director:
Caroline Richings

Harvey Bradley Dodworth

Ballet Director / Choreographer:
Mr. Ronzani

Event Type:
Choral, Opera, Orchestral

Record Information


Last Updated:
16 September 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

23 Feb 1863, 7:45 PM
24 Feb 1863, 7:45 PM
25 Feb 1863, 7:45 PM
26 Feb 1863, 7:45 PM
27 Feb 1863, 7:45 PM
28 Feb 1863, 7:45 PM

Program Details

Peter Richings, producer; J.H. Selwyn, scenery; J.E. Hayes, scenery; Phillipe, dresses; Mr. S. Wallis, appointments; Runyon & Demilt, mechanical effects.

“Programme of Music, Dances, &c., &c., incidental to the Opera.”
Introduction and Opening Chorus (Chorus)
1. Introduction (Corps de Ballet)
2. Pas de Trois (Galletti, Marzetti, Katrine and Corps de Ballet)
3. Gambling Chorus (Burch and Chorus)
4. Fairy Incantation (Orchestra)
5. Aerial Chorus (Chorus)
6. Song, “Power of love, The” (C. Richings)
7. Drinking song, “Vintage of champagne” (C. Richings)
8. Entre act and ballad, “Let not the world” (C. Richings)
9. Slave Market Chorus, “Merry Tunis” (Chorus)
10. Introduction (Corps de Ballet)
11. Spanish dance (Corps de Ballet)
12. Romanica (Marzetti and Katrine)
13. Pas de l’Escharpe (Galetti and Corps de Ballet)
14. Adelti Sultana Zuleima (C. Richings and Chorus)
15. Grand Air and Cabaletta (C. Richings and Chorus)
16. Cavatina, “Oh, could I but his heart enslave” (C. Richings)
17. Incantation, “I am here, behold” (C. Richings)
18. Demon Chorus, “Vengeance, vengeance”
19. Finale, “Power of love, The” (C. Richings and Chorus)

First time in New York.

Joseph Marzetti was engaged expressly for the role of Matino, the Imp of Mischief; afterwards Frick.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Power of Love
Composer(s): Balfe
Text Author: Harris, Falconer
Participants:  Richings English Opera Corps de Ballet;  Richings English Opera Orchestra;  Richings English Opera Chorus;  Richings English Opera Company;  Livingstone Robert Shewell (role: Fabio);  Mlle. Katrine (role: dancer);  Mr. Burch (role: Marquis Leoni);  Emma Skerrett (role: Countess Florabella);  Edward E. Lamb (role: Giacomo);  J. W. Blaisdell (role: Count Cassarbella);  C. W. [Richings' English Opera] Wilson (role: Mooty Hassam);  Mrs. Francis S. (Frank) Chanfrau (role: Lelia);  Mrs. H.P. Grattan (role: Beatrice);  George H. Andrews (role: The Cadi);  Mrs. Livingstone Robert Shewell (role: Jeannet);  Caroline Richings (role: Satanella, the Spirit of Beauty; Julian, a Demon Page; Arimane, the Master Fiend);  Annetta Galletti (role: dancer);  Peter Richings (role: Hernando, Fabio's Tutor);  Joseph Marzetti (role: Matino, the Imp of Mischief; afterwards Frick);  Mathilde Marzetti (role: dancer)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 16 February 1863, 7.
Announcement: New York Herald, 16 February 1863, 8.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 16 February 1863, 7.
“Second Engagement with the American Child of Song, Caroline Richings, the Greatest Native Prima Donna of the Present Day . . . And sustained by a Most Powerful and Complete Orchestra. The chorus will be New, Humorous, And carefully selected.”
Announcement: New York Post, 16 February 1863, 2.
“Caroline Richings in a part which Louisa Pyne originally took. The opera includes a ballet, in which Ronzani and Galetti will appear.”
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 16 February 1863, 8.
Announcement: New York Herald, 23 February 1863, 5.
Satanella is called “an operatic spectacle.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 23 February 1863, 7.
Full program.
Announcement: New-York Times, 23 February 1863, 5.
Richings rentrêe.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 23 February 1863, 7.
Full program.
Review: New-York Times, 24 February 1863, 4.

     “Niblo’s Garden—In the absence of English opera, it is well to be content with the suggestion of it given by Mr. and Miss Richings in their curious musical and dramatic entertainment. The lady is blessed by nature with a fine voice, and practice has taught her how to use it in the best way for pleasing the public; the gentleman is experienced in stage affairs, and is, we presume, responsible for the vehicle of his daughter’s talent. In the case of ‘Satanella,’ he has seized upon a popular work by a pleasing composer, and retaining the most salient of the melodies, has reconstructed the plot to suit it for dialogue, pantomime and ballet. The task is not an easy one, nor has it been discharged with facility. A large amount of after-thought will have to be exercised before the piece presented last night can claim any merit on the score of construction, and extensive excision must be practiced before it can be acceptable, even as regards length. The interest of the performance centered almost exclusively upon Miss Riching [sic], who sang several morceaux with good effect, and was encored in ‘The Glorious Vintage of Champagne.’ Aided by a chorus, (strong in the male department,) and an increased orchestra, under Mr. Harvey B. Dodworth, these musical suggestions of the parent work were always acceptable. The scenery and dresses were good, the latter especially so; but the working of the machinery was intolerably bad, and by delaying the performance until near midnight seriously jeopardized its success. A defect of this kind will, of course, be immediately remedied. At an establishment so admirably and lavishly conducted as Niblo’s, it should never be noticeable. There is an excellent corps de ballet, and several fine dancers have been expressly engaged to give importance to this department, so that when the work has been reduced to proper limits, it will present many claims to public consideration. Its success, last evening, was not of a very hearty character.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 24 February 1863, 7.
Cast, program, time, etc.
Review: New York Post, 24 February 1863, 2.

     “An echo of Balfe’s opera of this name was heard last night at Niblo’s Garden, where Miss Richings and her father began an engagement. The production was somewhat chaotic, the plot too intricate for ordinary minds, and the scenic effects, though elaborate and superb in intention, were ineffective in fulfillment.  A few nights will, however, obviate most of these difficulties, and then, with Miss Richings’s charming vocalization, and the really excellent ballet dancing, the piece will deserve and win popularity.”

Review: New York Herald, 25 February 1863, 4.

     Mr. Peter Richings' spectacular adaptation of Balfe's opera, "Satanella," was produced at Niblo's Garden Monday evening. We have only time and space to say that the piece was an immense success. Miss Richings' singing was as brilliant as ever. The ballet troupe, led by Galetti and Marzetti, was extremely enjoyable. Th acting, by Mr. Richings, Mr. and Mrs. Showell, Mesdames Chasnfrau and Skerrett, and Mressrs. Lamb and De Forest, was all that the spectacle allowed. The scenery, by Hays and Selwyn, has never been surpassed at this theatre for splendor and artistic taste. The applause was frequent and hearty, and, with a little trimming, "Satanella" will be quite as successful as the adaptation of the "Enchantress" was in the same hands a few months ago."

Advertisement: New York Herald, 28 February 1863, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 28 February 1863, 7.
Review: New York Post, 02 March 1863, 2.
“’Satanella’ at Niblo’s Garden, though by no means given as Balfe wrote it, yet retains enough of the original music to give a high opinion of its merits. The ballad in the third act, so beautifully sung by Miss Richings, contains melodic phrases that haunt the ear. The ballet music is very sparkling and felicitous. Galletti and Mme. Marzetti, by the way, dance most satisfactorily, and Mr. Marzetti has the part of an imp or demon, which proves that those members of infernal society possess limbs and joints of most amazing flexibility. The scenery of ‘Satanella’ now works well, and the spectacle is highly enjoyable to the lovers of music and the ballet.”
Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 02 March 1863, 5.

“‘Satanella,’ at Niblo’s Garden, has achieved a brilliant success, by its excellent scenery, its numerous and spirited dances, and especially the graceful singing of Miss Caroline Richings. The selections of the music are not themselves remarkable, only two of the really good melodies of the original having been retained – ‘The Power of Love’ and ‘Let not the World,’ both of which, though simple and unpretending, are in Balfe’s most charming style – but Miss Richings succeeds in all, as well as in these, in greatly pleasing the audiences. The choruses are of little value, and the orchestra betrays a weakness which its increased numbers only make the more apparent. The ballet music is partly taken from the ‘Faust,’ which Mr. Ronzani produced with great splendor some years ago. The dancing itself is much better in every respect than that which is usually offered in similar pieces. Miss Galetti passes much time upon the easy elevation of her principal toes, which may, indeed, be termed her two special points of attraction. Mrs. Marzetti and Miss Katrine perform their light fantastic functions with an elasticity which we cannot say knows no bounds, but which is certainly without limit. The general action is conscientiously sustained by Mr. and Mrs. L. R. Shewell, Mr. Richings, Mr. Lamb and others. The audiences last week were large, and profuse in applause; as, undoubtedly, they will continue this week, on every night of which ‘Satanella’ will be repeated.”

Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 14 March 1863, 393.
“Miss Richings is singing in an abbreviation and adaptation of Balfe’s ‘Satanella,’ at Niblo’s and the audiences who frequent that theatre are supposed to rejoice in copious draughts of English opera.”