La Grange-Brignoli Italian Opera: Rigoletto

Event Information

Pike's Opera House

Manager / Director:
Max Strakosch

Giuseppe Nicolao [cond.]

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
27 August 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

31 Jan 1868, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Verdi
Text Author: Piave


Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 29 January 1868, 8.
Announcement: New-York Times, 30 January 1868, 4.

“The programme at Pike’s is certainly varied enough. We are glad to see that ‘Rigoletto’ will be repeated on Friday evening. It was one of the most successfully-rendered works of th season, and attracted unusual attention. Mme. La Grange is an admirable Gilda—the best we have ever had in the part.”

Advertisement: New York Herald, 31 January 1868.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 31 January 1868, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 31 January 1868.

“The opera of ‘Rigoletto,’ the best success of the season, will be repeated her to-night, with the same cast as before. It has not been equaled in this city for many years.”

Review: New York Herald, 01 February 1868, 6.

“Pike’s Opera House.—Considering the snow and the cold—considering the numerous and other evening attractions not down Twenty-third street, but right along the line of Broadway and the hotels—considering that ‘Rigoletto’ to the same cast, was given only the other evening to a house which one might suppose embraced all our opera goers who desired to see and hear ‘Rigoletto’ from this troupe, we were rather surprised to find on its repetition last evening one of the most numerous and stylish gatherings at Pike’s beautiful establishment the last night of the season. Why is this thus? We spontaneously inquired. Straightway a knowing old campaigner responded, ‘Rigoletto,’ though a rascally plot, is a beautiful opera. The people like the music; but the Gilda, the magnificent Gilda of La Grange, ah, that’s it, sir. Besides, as you see, Massimiliani grows in the public favor, and the reliable Orlandini, like ‘Old Rough and Ready,’ does his work faithfully. Even in the little that Miss Phillips has to do as Madalena there is the worth of your money, you see, sir.’ Concurring in these observations we have nothing more to say, except this, that with all the croakings and raven-like prophecies we hear of the distance of this house from Broadway it really signifies nothing, and with anything like enterprising and skillful management in the long future as in the short past of this beautiful birdcage of the muses, it will, as the special temple of Italian opera in America, flourish and still blossom with new flowers like the ever blooming rose.”

Review: New York Post, 01 February 1868.

“‘Rigoletto’ had been performed twice before this season by the Strakosch company, but its repetition last night drew out a very large audience. The magnificent singing of La Grange, as Gilda, the delightful acting and singing of Miss Phillips, as Madelina; the fidelity with which Massimiliani and Orlandi performed the parts assigned them and the grand quartet in the last act, sufficiently account for the favor which has been shown this opera.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 01 February 1868, 4.

“‘Rigoletto’ was played last night by the opera company before a pretty large and gratified audience. All the singers were in excellent voice, and all surpassed in some respects their previous performances. We have heard Madame Lagrange in no part this season which displays to such advantage the perfection of her vocalization, and in few wherein her voice exhibits so much of its pristine purity and freshness. It is hard to realize, as one sees her in the character of Gilda, how many years it is since she first charmed us in this opera. Her two duets with Orlandini, in the first act (or, as the opera is generally divided, the second), were most heartily appreciated, and the famous aria, Caro nome, awakened a profound sensation. We have never heard her pearl-like staccato to better advantage than in this piece. Of course, its repetition was unanimously demanded. The duet with Rigoletto, at the end of the third act, and the quartette in the fourth, also deserved especial commendation. The latter was asked for a second time, but not given out of deference to an expressive deprecatory gesture from Signor Massimiliani. This gentleman, who assumed the role of the Duke, and Signor Orlandini, who played Rigoletto, were both admirable, and the latter especially sang with an intensity of expression to which he does not often rise. They gave evident satisfaction, and would probably have received still more emphatic testimonials of favor had not the attention of the audience been so fully concentrated on the excellent performance of Lagrange. Miss Phillips as Magdalena made much of a small part.

The season closes next week, and there is reason to expect full houses for all the remaining performances. It is a long time since we have had so good an opera company as this of Mr. Strakosch’s, and we fear it will be long before we have another. Certainly we cannot expect to hear an artist like Lagrange very soon, nor a sweet tenor like Brignoli, nor a contralto like Miss Phillips. The popular tenor, who has renewed during the week his former successes, and shows that he returns to us improved in some respects and with all his former power and delicacy of voice, appears at the Matinée today in his favorite opera of ‘Martha.’”

Review: Courrier des √Čtats-Unis, 03 February 1868.

“The second performance of Rigoletto, at the twenty-third street opera, was better than the first. M. Orlandini was in good voice, and although M. Massimiliani had given some signs of fatigue at the end of the fourth act, he sang the verses of La Donna è mobile marvelously. Mme de La Grange surpassed herself. Before the insistence of the audience, she had to repeat the aria in the second act, and she was admirably dramatic in the third and fourth acts.”