Harrison-Maretzek Italian Opera: Linda di Chamounix

Event Information

Pike's Opera House

Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison

Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
12 July 2017

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

03 Mar 1868, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Linda of Chamonix
Composer(s): Donizetti
Text Author: Rossi
Participants:  Harrison-Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Enrico Testa (role: Carlo);  Fanny Natali-Testa [contralto] (role: Pierotto);  Ettore Barili (role: Marquis);  Giuseppe B. [basso] Antonucci (role: Prefect);  Minnie Hauk (role: Linda);  Giorgio Ronconi (role: Antonio)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 02 March 1868.
Review: New York Herald, 04 March 1868.

“PIKE”S OPERA HOUSE.—The beautiful opera of ‘Linda di Chamounix’ (sixth night of the season under Harrison’s management) was he attraction at this establishment last evening. But the drawback of the coldest, keenest, and most Labradorian 3d of March since the first Dutchman landed with his red herrings and schnapps on Manhattan island was too much for Linda (Miss Hauck) and Ronconi. To say that there was a full house would be indulging too largely in the poet’s license.  In fact, it was a thin house. Nothing but some great novelty, some distinguished lion, or some bright, particular star, just dropped down from the skies, could have drawn our operatic people out into the freezing cold  of last night, eight degrees below zero. But the assemblage, though not numerous, was not cold, and the artist as zealously endeavored to do justice to the occasion as if Andy Johnson, Stanton, Lorenzo Thomas, ‘Old Thad’ and both houses of Congress were present. Ronconi was very, very good; as much at home as poor Antonio was in the rôle of the ambitious shoemaker. He is a good singer and a fine actor. Miss Minnie Hauck, with her clear, fine edged voice, made a very neat and becoming Linda. Natalie Testa, as Pieretto, was a charming youth, and sang her part to the entire satisfaction of the house. Signor Dubruil, as the Marchese, maintained the dignity of his position, and never forgot it; his style, however, is more that of the concert than of the operatic singer. The orchestra, under Maretzek, did its duty admirably.”

Review: New York Post, 04 March 1868.

“The attendance at Pike’s Opera House was not large last evening by any means, but was considerably more so than we expected on such a biting cold evening. In gratitude, perhaps, for the heroic endurance of the faithful minority present, the singers showed as much fidelity and spirit in the performance of ‘Linda,’ as though the house had been full. Miss Minnie Hauck availed herself of the opportunity of showing what she could do in the new character, to her, of Linda, and succeeded in obtaining that continuous and quietly expressed approval which is only secured by a consistently good performance. Her singing has seldom struck us so pleasantly as last evening. She showed signs of that sort of progressive excellence which only comes from hard work in a true method. Her voice is growing in power, as well as becoming more dramatic in quality. Signor Ronconi’s Antonio is one of the boldest specimens of what is sometimes vaguely called ‘the natural style’ of acting that we have lately seen. The utter simplicity and pathos of the old man’s woe, as expressed at the close of the first act, were touching in the extreme. Signor Antonucci and Madame Testa were both liked in the parts assigned to them.”

Review: New-York Times, 04 March 1868, 4.

“‘Linda di Chamounix’ was given here last evening to a scanty but appreciative audience. The work is usually a favorite with the public, but every work is more or less dependent on the weather, and we all know what that was last night. It followed, however, as a matter of course, that the performance was unusually good. Miss Hauck's Linda is certainly one of her best parts. Her youth and pleasing presence commend her at once to the sympathies of the audience, and her vocal skill is sufficient for the rôle, which we may here add is by no means light. The Pieretto of Mdlle. Natali-Testa was in every way commendable, and entirely free from the effort which we had occasion recently to refer to. The tenor part is a small one, and found an adequate representation in Signor Testa, who however sang the romansa [sic] of the second act with much taste and feeling. The principal interest of the performance depended on Sig. Ronconi, whose Antonio is very properly regarded as one of the great impersonations that the lyric stage has given to us. The parting from Linda in the first act—an inarticulate exhibition of purely human distress—has never been excelled; and the scene where he takes alms from his daughter, and curses her when he suspects that they are the wages of sin, exhibits the overwhelming influence of true high art. We are accustomed to regard Signor Ronconi as a comic artist, but in this work he has all the vehement passion and pathos of a tragedian. There are many who may learn from him. The performance in other particulars was excellent. The orchestra and chorus, under the able direction of Mr. Maretzek, were capital. When this maestro is in the orchestra there is never anything to fear.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 04 March 1868, 4.

“Ronconi is so closely associated in our minds with buffo parts that the public hardly know how superb an actor he is in tragedy. His Antonio in ‘Linda’ is one of the finest personations on the lyric stage, full of tenderness, simplicity, and homely passion. The celebrated scene in which he curses his daughter is absolutely grand, and invariably makes a profound impression. The Linda last night was Miss Hauck, who took the character for the first time in New York, and went through it with a degree of success which her youth and comparatively little experience hardly led us to expect. Antonucci was a noble Prefect, and Barili a good Marquis. Signor Testa, however, has not voice enough for Carlo. His wife was a pleasing Pierotte. The choruses were good, and the orchestra entirely satisfactory.”