Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
26 February 2016
“The second performance of Don Bucefalo was given last night with capital spirit to a very good house. This intensely comical work has taken a strong hold upon the public taste, and will become more and more popular as it becomes better known. The ludicrous acting of Ronconi is, of course, the chief attraction now; but there is merit enough in his music to secure a permanent place in public favor, even after the farcical snit has lost its savor. The opening chorus is light and graceful, and was exceedingly well rendered last night. The cavatina, which followed, for Senora Peralta, though certainly not very original in conception, is a graceful bit of writing, well suited to the singer’s voice, and was given with great delicacy and precision. Signor Baragli received a liberal share of applause, but we cannot praise this gentleman’s performance very warmly. He has been trained in an execrable school, and has intensified some of its worst faults. Yet, when he can resist the temptation to strain after gossamer-notes—and last night he did occasionally resist it, especially in a part of his first solo, and in all the concerted pieces—he gave genuine pleasure. Signor Baragli, when he chooses to sing naturally, is an agreeable and serviceable tenor. The finales of the second and the third act were admirable, and the audience broke up in a burst of hearty merriment, such as the Academy of Music does not often witness.”
The opera performance on Friday was more successful than the premiere.
“At the Academy of Music, the second performance of Don Bucefalo went off with better ensemble singing and more animation than the first. Thus the success is more visible. The finale of the second act and that of the third carried off the votes. We will say of Cagnoni’s music what we said recently to a young lady who believed that she had something to complain about regarding our ratings: ‘We eagerly wish that the public give a dazzling lie to our first opinion.’ The music of Cagnoni, in reality, seemed extremely spiritless, but the spectators at the second performance judged otherwise.”