Grover-Maretzek Italian and German Opera: Crispino e la comare

Event Information

Pike's Opera House

Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison

Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 June 2017

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

27 Feb 1868, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Schuhflicker
Composer(s): Ricci, Ricci
Text Author: Piave


Advertisement: New York Herald, 26 February 1868.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 26 February 1868, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 27 February 1868, 5.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 February 1868.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 February 1868, 8.
Review: New York Herald, 28 February 1868, 5.

“Pike’s Opera House.—The comic opera of the brothers Ricci, ‘Crispino e la Comare,’ which bubbles over with funny music and still more funny recitative or semi-dialogue, was given last night at this magnificent opera house by Harrison’s company before a slim audience. The weather has done its best this week to frown down Italian opera on the west side, and has so far succeeded in reducing the audience to the minimum standard. In an artistic point of view the opera last night was an entire success. Ronconi, as the cobbler converted into an M. D., was full of irresistible humor and jokes, and Miss Hauck sang the part of Annetta with the same archness and spirit that characterized Miss Kellogg. Bellini and Antonucci were the same pompous physicians as of yore, and the the orchestra and chorus were entirely satisfactory.”

Review: New York Post, 28 February 1868.

“‘Crispino e la Comare’ was given last evening in a thoroughly excellent and enjoyable manner before a small but appreciative audience. Miss Hauck appeared to great advantage as Annette. The piquancy and grace with which she invested her part were worthy of all praise, and were keenly relished by the audience. Ronconi’s performance of the Cobbler is too well known to require special mention. It was fully up to his usual standard last night, and it is surprising that to see him in this, one of his best parts, a larger audience was not drawn together. Bellini and Antonucci were good, and in the famous trio of the Doctors were, with Ronconi, hearily recalled. The orchestra, under Maretzek’s care, was good, but the chorus was both weak and often out of tune.”

Review: New-York Times, 28 February 1868, 4.

“‘Crispino è la Comare’ was played here last evening. It is a light opera, but seems to suit the people in heavy times, for, notwithstanding the snow-storm, the house was respectably attended. Was there ever a season like the present? On every opera night, when the wayfarer, like ‘Orient, slopes slowly to the West,’ it rages that way. If he turns eastward, it growls in that direction. Between the two extremes he has but one alternative—to go to bed.

The performance, notwithstanding, was of more than average excellence.  Signor Ronconi, as the Crispino, was in unusual spirits, and whilst retaining many of his old comicalities, infused several new ones into the part. His resources are never exhausted; and his fun is much more variable than the weather, which has no fun in it at all. He was most ably assisted by his two medical friends, Signors Bellini and Antonucci. The pestie trio was of course given with tremendous force, and elicited the usual amount of applause. Miss Hauck was charming as the cobbler’s wife. The music suits her voice, and she sings it with skill and appreciation. The small parts as usual were entrusted to competent artists, and the chorus and orchestra went like a charm. Mr. Max Maretzek presided in the orchestra.” 

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 28 February 1868, 5.

“There was a remarkably enjoyable performance last night of the sparkling ‘Crispino e la Comare,’ and it was intensely relished by a rather small audience. The characters were all acceptably and several of them admirably filled, and more than that they fitted well together, and the whole piece went off with unusual spirit and success. Miss Hauck made a most fascinating Amelia. She has improved a great deal upon her first rendering of the part, and has made it as we predicted she would, one of her best roles. Her action is full of life and fun and her singing invariably true and pleasing. Ronconi, as the Cobbler, was in his most humorous mood, and was received with unflagging laughter. Signor Testa rendered the music of the small tenor part very well, and Bellini and Antonucci are two of the most resonant Doctors who ever drew blood.”

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 28 February 1868, 8.

There has not been a better performance of this opera since the days of Kellogg. Miss Hauck’s performance was filled with humor, Ronconi exceeded himself, Bellini was as good as always, the orchestra and chorus under Maretzek’s guidance left nothing to be desired.