Théâtre Français: Zampa

Event Information

French Theatre

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
17 March 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

15 Nov 1866, 7:45 PM

Program Details

Debut of Johann Armand.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Zampa, ou La fiancée de marbre; Zampa, or The Marble Fiancée
Composer(s): Hérold
Text Author: Mélesville
Participants:  Monsieur [tenor] Edgard;  Elvira Naddie (role: Camille);  Johann Armand [tenor, director] (role: Zampa);  Monsieur Chol;  Jeanne Laurentis (role: Ritta);  Paul de Surmont


Advertisement: New York Herald, 14 November 1866.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 14 November 1866, 7.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 14 November 1866, 8.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 14 November 1866.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 14 November 1866.
Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 15 November 1866, 233.
Announcement: New York Herald, 15 November 1866, 4.
Announcement: New-York Times, 15 November 1866, 5.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 15 November 1866, 8.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 15 November 1866.
Review: New York Herald, 16 November 1866, 5.

“The promised attractions of a romantic opera almost approaching the grand, and the debut of a new tenor, filled the French theater last evening, despite the threatening appearance of the weather. It is many years since Zampa was given in this city, although the music is familiar to every one. [Summary of plot.] But over this incongruous and highly colored plot Herold has thrown a royal mantle of the most delicious music that even the prolific French school can furnish. The overture is a programme of the opera itself, for in it are concentrated the principal musical gems. The various choruses of the corsairs and the villagers are grand and spirited, and the couplets of Camille, Zampa and Alphonse are of heavier caliber than one generally meets with in French opera. Each of the principal characters, including even the corsair’s mate and Dandolo, demand much in voice and action from the representatives. M. Armand, the debutant appeared as the corsair. It would be unfair to judge of him definitely from a first appearance, but he showed very little last night to commend him either as a singer or an actor. Of the other characters Mlle. Laurentis was the most successful in the musical line. Mlle. Naddie acted charmingly, but the music was rather too trying for her light voice. We shall reserve more detailed criticism for the second representation of the opera next week. Auber’s Crown Diamonds will be given at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this evening. We may remark here that in this opera Messrs. Juignet & Drivet’s company have been the most successful, and have rendered the delightful music in a style worthy of Auber.”

Review: New-York Times, 16 November 1866, 4.

French Opera.—Herold's beautiful romantic opera of ‘Zampa’ was produced here last evening to a good house. The representation was marred by obvious deficiencies of rehearsal, but nevertheless it carried the audience, and the work will, we think, enjoy and merit a success. Monsieur Armand, who made his début in the leading part of Zampa possesses a bold, gallant presence, and acts with all the spirit of a robusto. His voice was affected last night by the prevailing epidemic—a cold. He could not in consequence render full justice to himself, and it is only courteous to reserve our remarks for another occasion. We may say, however, that his upper notes are clear and penetrating, and that, like most of his ilk, he makes too much of them. In the lower register he was sadly at fault in the matter of intonation—an effect which we are willing to ascribe to the cause already mentioned. Mr. De Surmont was unusually good. His voice is agreeable in quality, except when forced; and once or twice last night he overstepped the limits of judiciousness. The serenade or barcarole of the third act merited the applause which the public bestowed upon it. Mlle. Naddie was excellent as Camille, but she too wandered from the pitch. Mlle. Laurentis was a charming and piquante Ritta, and sang the music of her part with spirit and intelligence. This music, by the way, is for the most part concerted; and when we say that she was supported by Messrs. Edgard and Chol, it will be seen that she had a great deal to do to make it acceptable to the audience. No one wishes to quarrel with two striving and useful gentlemen. In comedy Messrs. Edgard and Chol are excellent, but in everything lyric they leave much to be desired. The opera was literally cut, especially in the dialogue. Notwithstanding this necessary abbreviation, it terminated at a late hour. Why there should be a great loss of time between the acts we cannot explain, unless on the hypothesis that a dozen Frenchmen desire—during the evening—to smoke their cigarettes. To the rest of the audience it is certainly tedious. The opera has been produced with some care. The dresses were excellent; the orchestra and chorus good. It is difficult to stock a new theatre with scenery, and at the French Theatre the difficulty is apparent to every one.”