Maretzek Italian Opera: Le Prophète

Event Information

Academy of Music

Proprietor / Lessee:
Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
17 March 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

17 Mar 1869, Evening

Program Details

“Fancy skating by members of the New York Skating Association.”

Performers and/or Works Performed


Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 15 March 1869.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 16 March 1869, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 17 March 1869, 4.

“To-night Meyerbeer’s opera of ‘La Prophete’ will be given for the third time. The work has been produced in so careful a manner that it deserves to receive the fullest recognition of the public. It has, indeed, enjoyed this good fortune The cast introduces the best strength of the company, and in a way that brings out the quality as well as the strength of the latter. We have never had a better Fides than Mme. La Grange; the Bertha of Miss McCulloch is clear and pleasing, and the Jean of Signor Boetti possesses points of great merit. The three Anabaptists are admirably represented. But the charm of this opera, as in all others by the same composer, is the ensemble, and this Mr. Maretzek has provided for in the most ample way. The orchestra and chorus are fine, larger than usual in each department, and thoroughly drilled in both. The effect is, of course, correspondingly agreeable.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 17 March 1869, 5.

At conclusion of review for Monday’s (03/15/69) performance. “The third performance [of Le Prophète] is announced for to-night, and during next week (the last of the season) we presume the opera will be repeated, for it certainly promises to draw for some time.”

Review: New-York Times, 18 March 1869, 4.

“The ‘Prophet’ was given last evening at the Academy of Music for the fourth time, and there was again a fine house—full and fashionable in every particular. It is clear that there is a revival of the old penchant for Italian opera. Fashionable people, indeed, must have some entertainment which they may claim more or less specially as their own. Opera bouffe has been tried and found wanting. It follows then that the other school will inevitably regain such sway as it ever possessed, and, perhaps, more, from a healthy reaction. Mr. Maretzek’s season has been a curious one. Meyerbeer’s music whenever played has invariably drawn good houses, but the simpler works of the Italian composers have been utterly ignored. Hence there have been nights of extreme brightness, and others when everything was sepulchral. On the whole, the manager, we take it, has prospered, and during the few remaining nights, may safely anticipate a continuance of good fortune. A few such houses as that of last evening would insure an opera company of vaster caliber.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 18 March 1869, 8.

“‘The Prophet’ improves at every performance. The third representation went off last evening with excellent effect, and the audience was considerably larger than on Monday, the opera house being completely filled. La Grange, as usual, carried off most of the honors, but Boetti was received with a great deal of favor, especially in the beautiful Re dal cielo in the third act. There will be a matinée performance of the opera on Saturday.”

Announcement: New York Sun, 19 March 1869, 2.

“Mr. Maretzek has fully demonstrated during his brief season the fact that either the liking for the Italian opera nor the willingness to lend it a liberal support is wanting among us. The public is quite as ready to patronize a good opera as managers are to present one, and there seems no reason to doubt that if a really first-class company can be brought together, audiences will crowd the Academy and make the enterprise a paying one. Witness the success that has attended the production of the ‘Prophet.’ Maretzek has brought it out with considerable attention to detail. The coronation act, especially, is admirably put upon the stage. The press, always favorably inclined toward so old and deserving a manager, promptly recognized the general excellence of the representation and the public has filled the house every night. There is, of course, much wanting to make it perfect. Meyerbeer’s operas are exacting in every way. They absolutely require not only the best of artists, but all the resources of the largest and most liberally provided stage. They were created for the Grand Opera at Paris, where to do a thing perfectly is the rule and not the exception, and where money, taste, and every appliance to further success is at hand. Considering the disadvantage under which Maretzek has worked, he has done admirably. The more important roles are well filled, the orchestra steady and satisfactory, and the chorus, which has much hard work to do, excellently drilled.”