Maretzek Italian Opera: Fra Diavolo

Event Information

Academy of Music

Proprietor / Lessee:
Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
16 May 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

24 Mar 1869, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Cooke [cond.-comp.-vocal]
Text Author: Byron
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Theodore Habelmann (role: Fra Diavolo);  Frida de Gebele (role: Lady Rochburg);  Giorgio Ronconi (role: Lord Rochburg);  Amati Dubreuil (role: Beppo);  Ettore Barili (role: Giacomo);  Clara Louise Kellogg (role: Zerlina)


Announcement: New York Sun, 22 March 1869, 2.

“Maretzek’s brief Italian campaign ends with the present week happily not this time with a Waterloo defeat. The fates, or the public, who are his fates, have been propitious. Indeed, he has done all he could to secure their good graces, bringing out work after work with astonishing rapidity, and, considering the material at his command, with equally surprising excellence.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 22 March 1869, 7.
Advertisement: Courrier des √Čtats-Unis, 22 March 1869.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 23 March 1869, 1.

“Of the opera season there is only the old story to tell; whether the temptation be Miss Kellogg in ‘Faust,’ or Madame LaGrange in ‘The Prophet,’ the houses are crammed, and New-York pokes its dollars through the box-office window with an enthusiasm wonderful to witness. The benefit of Madame LaGrange to-night, the appearance of Miss Kellogg in ‘Fra Diavolo to-morrow, and the close of the season on Saturday night (there will be no performance on Thursday or Friday), are the remaining events of the week, after which there will be nothing left us but the grand winding up crash of the Opera Ball.”

Review: New York Post, 25 March 1869.

“After neglecting it for two years Miss Kellogg last night at the Academy of Music assumed her delineations of the part of Zerlina in ‘Fra Diavolo.’ In its main features her performance is identical with what it used to be when she sang here in this opera with Mazzoleni. The costume is, however, altered and improved, being more strictly and historically correct. During her recent tour through Italy Miss Kellogg carefully studied the dress of the peasant women in the districts around Terracina, and now reproduces it with only that additional finish and taste that on the stage corresponds to the ‘poetical’ license’ of language.

In the second act the prima donna of the evening introduced an andante and an allegro, borrowed from other’s of Auber’s operas, winning through her admirable execution a hearty encore. In the bed chamber scene she sang and acted with charming taste and modesty; and throughout the opera the plaudits of a crowded audience frequently crowned her efforts.

The Fra Diavolo of Mr. Habelmann seemed to give considerable satisfaction, though he sang in German while the others sang in Italian; and though he omitted one of the prettiest melodies that Auber has given to this opera, substituting, however, in its place a beautiful and well-sung German song. Dubreuil and Barili were the two bandits, Ronconi was as funny as ever as Lord Rochberg, and Miss de Gebele essayed the part of Lady Rochberg. The opera will be repeated at the Saturday matinée.”

Review: New-York Times, 25 March 1869, 4.

“There was a brilliant audience last night to witness Auber’s charming opera of ‘Fra Diavolo’—a work, which, in its Italian dress, has gained an unmistakable hold on the public. Miss Kellogg was the Zerlina, and played and sang the part with delightful vivacity. There are few rôles that become her so well. The Lady Rochburg of Miss Fride De Gebele was in every way a good performance. Of the rest a mere mention will suffice. Sig. Ronconi was the Lord Rochburg, and gave his extremely droll illustration of the traveling Englishman. Herr Habelmann was a capital Fra Diavolo, and the two bandits were adequately represented by Messrs. Barili and Dubreuil.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 25 March 1869, 5.

“The Academy of Music was filled last evening to that happy fullness beyond which it would cease to be in the highest degree enjoyable. Miss Kellogg appeared as in Fra Diavolo, last night being the closing night of her engagement, and her last appearance, except at the Matinée on Saturday, when she sings in the same part. Of her singing in this favorite opera it is unnecessary to speak in detail at any time, and least of all at the close of a season. The singing of Mr. Habelmann as Fra Diavola was particularly good, and he received some heavy and spontaneous encores. Ronconi as the English Lord was full of fun as usual, and much more natural and unrestrained in his humor—for it is barely possible for him not to be either under adverse circumstances—than when he last sung and acted the same part. Signors Barili and Dubreul took the parts of Giacomo and Beppo, and Miss Frida de Gebele that of Lady Rochburg.”