Pike's Opera House
Manager / Director:
Giuseppe Nicolao [cond.]
Price: $2 reserved; $1.50; $.75 family circle; $12, $25 boxes
29 August 2018
“Miss Phillips will introduce in the Music Lesson 'A Cuban Song.'"
“Pike’s Opera House.—The ‘Barber of Seville,’ which was the attraction at this new and superb temple of music, gave Miss Adelaide Phillips a fresh opportunity to justify the title which she deservedly wears as the ‘American prima donna.’ We do not hesitate to say that the rôle of Rosina has never been better supported in this country. ‘Una Voce Poco Fa,’ the opening cavatina, was rendered with a perfection of florid execution and of acting worthy of the highest eulogy. The duet between Rosina and Figaro (Signor Orlandini) was also admirably rendered. The coquettishness and archness of Rosina have never been more satisfactorily represented. Orlandini was excellent, both in voice and action. Signor Susini as Bartolo revives our recollections of Lablache. Signor Tamaro as Count Almaviva and Signor Coletti as Basilio filled their rôles acceptably.”
“The extremely unfavorable weather, the terrible condition of the streets and sidewalks, the attractions of the French ball at the Academy, and the near prospect of the appearance of Brignoli, combined to render the attendance at Pike’s Opera House last evening considerably smaller than it otherwise would have been. It may be added that the ‘Barber,’ which was selected for the evening’s performance, has been given here so frequently during the last year that less interest was felt in a new rendering than would otherwise have been manifested. Without any disrespect to Mr. Strakosch’s company, we may add that it contains no two singers capable of filling the places of Bellini and Ronconi in two of the most prominent characters of the opera, so that whatever interest was felt in the performance last night centred in Miss Phillips, who alone could satisfy a New York audience accustomed to the Rosina of Miss Kellogg.
However high may have been the expectations of Miss Phillips’s friends and admirers, they were more than fulfilled, and her performance was all the more keenly enjoyed from the fact that she so rarely has an opportunity for a full display not only of the qualities of her voice, but of her easy and graceful accomplishment of technical difficulties. The florid and flowing music of Rossini, seldom finds an interpretation at once so clear, limpid and sympathetic as that charmingly given by Miss Phillips last evening. Her tones were never purer or sweeter, and possessed a body and richness rarely characterizing even the voices of the best singers. From the opening ovation—‘Una Voce Poco Fa’—to the last, she was always and evenly admirable. Her acting was worthy of study as an example by those who would assume one of the most lively and winning characters ever represented on the lyric stage. She never acted to the audience, but illustrated the character she was personating quite as effectively by delicate touches of humor in her byplay, as in the more direct action of the part. We trust that the ‘Barber’ will be given again this season, so that so artistic a delineation may be seen by a larger audience.”