Maretzek Italian Opera: Il Trovatore

Event Information

Venue(s):
Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Conductor(s):
Max Maretzek

Price: $1 General admission; .50 and $1 extra for reserved seats; $6 to $10 for private boxes, depending on location; .50 family circle

Event Type:
Opera

Record Information

Status:
Published

Last Updated:
25 May 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

16 Nov 1868, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Opening night.

Performers and/or Works Performed

1)
aka Troubadour
Composer(s): Verdi
Text Author: Cammarano
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Pasquale Brignoli (role: Manrico);  Ettore Barili (role: Ferrando);  Domenico Orlandini (role: Count di Luna);  Agatha [soprano] States (role: Leonora);  Rosa [contralto] Cellini (role: Azucena)

Citations

1)
Announcement: New York Post, 07 November 1868.
2)
Article: New-York Daily Tribune, 07 November 1868, 4.

“Music: A New Operatic Season. We are glad to learn that the Academy of Music will soon reopen for a short season of Italian Opera, under the management of Mr. Max Maretzek, who in all the fortunes of his checkered career has given more general satisfaction to the public than any of the other bold spirits who have tempted the dangers of lyric adventure.” Mentions anticipated leading singers.

3)
Announcement: New-York Times, 09 November 1868, 5.

“We are to have, after all, a short season of opera at the Academy of Music. It will be under the direction of Mr. MAX MARETZEK, a gentleman who is constantly at the post of honor in the hour of danger. The campaign opens on Monday next, the 16th. Mr. MARETZEK’S country tour has been eminently successful, and his company, which in many respects is new, has been spoken of highly by the critics. It has lately been reinforced by Mme. LA GRANGE—an admirable and well-known artist—who will appear, we learn, in German as well as Italian opera. It is hinted, too, that an arrangement may be effected with Miss KELLOGG. Mr. MARETZEK will, at all events, present us with a good ensemble and several new operas, among the latter AUBER’S Un jour de Bonheur and FLOTOW’S Judea. We trust that the entertainment may meet with success. It is time that there was some sign of a musical reaction. It is a shame that the Academy of Music should be handed over to mere strolling players and acrobats.”

4)
Announcement: New York Post, 11 November 1868, [2].
5)
Announcement: New-York Times, 11 November 1868, 5.

“Mr. MARETZEK’S campaign is to be shorter than we expected.  It is indeed nothing but an experiment. Only seven performances are contemplated, with a remote contingency of four or five more. Under ordinary circumstances, such an experiment would be discouraging. The rough material of an opera company cannot be obtained so readily, or, if obtained, it cannot be put together rapidly for a venture. We have had a recent and offensive illustration of this fact. Mr. MARETZEK is, however, an exception. He descends upon New-York as he would upon a provincial town, simply as an incident of a tour long since inaugurated and put in operation. His company is complete; and his orchestra and chorus are in thorough working order. We may safely calculate, therefore, on a good ensemble. Of Mr. MARETZEK’S artists there are several that are new to the public, and others who will be welcomed back with pleasure. With two troupes, one Italian and the other German, Mr. MARETZEK proposes to play every night of the coming week, and as an additional spade up, to give a matinee on Saturday.  May he succeed!”

6)
Announcement: New-York Times, 11 November 1868, 5.

“Mr. MARETZEK’S campaign is to be shorter than we expected.  It is indeed nothing but an experiment. Only seven performances are contemplated, with a remote contingency of four or five more. Under ordinary circumstances, such an experiment would be discouraging. The rough material of an opera company cannot be obtained so readily, or, if obtained, it cannot be put together rapidly for a venture. We have had a recent and offensive illustration of this fact. Mr. MARETZEK is, however, an exception. He descends upon New-York as he would upon a provincial town, simply as an incident of a tour long since inaugurated and put in operation. His company is complete; and his orchestra and chorus are in thorough working order. We may safely calculate, therefore, on a good ensemble. Of Mr. MARETZEK’S artists there are several that are new to the public, and others who will be welcomed back with pleasure. With two troupes, one Italian and the other German, Mr. MARETZEK proposes to play every night of the coming week, and as an additional spade up, to give a matinee on Saturday.  May he succeed!”

7)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 11 November 1868, 7.
8)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 11 November 1868, 2.
9)
Advertisement: New York Herald, 12 November 1868.
10)
Announcement: New York Post, 12 November 1868.

Discusses plans for Maretzek’s brief opera season.

11)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 13 November 1868, 5.

“We hear no more of the half-promised addition of Miss Kellogg to Maretzek’s opera company, but the plans of the season seem to be only half formed, and she may yet be engaged. Meanwhile the rest of the company is well balanced and strong, and there will be Italian and German opera on alternate nights.”

12)
Announcement: New York Clipper, 14 November 1868, 254, 3d col., bottom.
13)
Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 14 November 1868, 232.
14)
Announcement: New York Post, 16 November 1868, [5].
15)
Announcement: New-York Times, 16 November 1868, 5.
16)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 16 November 1868, 5.
17)
Review: New York Post, 17 November 1868.

“Notwithstanding the Offenbach fever, and many other adverse circumstances, the indomitable Maretzek installed last night, with the greatest success, the Italian opera at the Academy. In taking his seat as conductor, he was enthusiastically greeted with several rounds of applause, which he very modestly acknowledged. The audience was numerous, brilliant, and in a very genial musical mood. The ‘Trovatore’ of Verdi was selected for the occasion, and was most artistically interpreted by four of the leading artists. Miss States (the Leonora), has a very firm, clear and flexible voice, and won the favor of the audience without much effort. They testified their approbation both by repeated applause and a June shower of the most attractive-looking flowers. Mme. Cellini was quite equal to the part of Azucena, and elicited the attention of the house by her clever acting and admirable vocalization. Brignoli, as Manrico, lost none of his past laurels, but, if possible, increased them. The purity and sweetness of his voice and his inimitable method recalled the most pleasant memories of his former triumphs at the Academy.

“Orlandini was not only a count in appearance and bearing, but was truly regal in his singing. He took the audience by storm as he rolled out from the most fertile of vocal fountains the tender melodies of the opera. Altogether, the opening night of Maretzek was a decided success, and must encourage him to keep the Academy from looking like a sepulchre instead of a temple of song.”

18)
Review: New-York Times, 17 November 1868, 5.

“‘Il Trovatore,’ a work which does not invite criticism, but which serves very well to introduce a season of Italian opera, was played here last evening and most successfully. The cast was excellent. Miss AGATHA STATES was the Leonora, and again exhibited the fullness of voice for which she is remarkable. Mme. CELLINI, was also an excellent Azucena. Signor BRIGNOLI was the Manrico, and gave to the mailed warrior all the importance that was due to that character. He is in fine voice. Signor ORLANDINI sang ‘Il Balcu’ [sic] [‘Il balen’] so well that it was encored. This advantage he preserved to the end. Mr. MARETZEK’S orchestra and chorus are of course excellent, and the impressario on taking his place was received with three rounds of cheers.”

19)
Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 17 November 1868, 8.

“The reopening of the Academy of Music last night gave the numerous friends and admirers of Mr. Max Maretzek a good opportunity to show their confidence in his ability to supply the public with a respectable musical entertainment, and we are happy to say that they made the most of it. The opera was the well-worn Trovatore, over which there is no longer the possibility of exciting a sensation; but the house was well filled—or rather crowded—with a very fashionable and gorgeous audience, even the stock holders’ boxes were tenanted, and there was liberal and hearty applause. Mr. Maretzek, on taking his place at the conductor’s desk, was welcomed with repeated salvos, and was obliged to rise two or three times in acknowledgment before the introduction could begin. The cast, if not a brilliant, was a good one. Mrs. States, the Leonora of the evening, made a decided impression at Pike’s Opera House last Winter by her strong, mellow, and ringing voice, which unquestionably one of the best that have been heard in New-York for many years, and last night she fully justified the praise which she then received. She is not a real artiste; but in certain kinds of music, especially that of Verdi, her vigorous musical elocution produces a very acceptable effect. In the tower scene she made a decided hit. Madame Cellini, who appeared in the character of Azucena, is a singer of the same class—having a rich and powerful voice, somewhat lacking flexibility, and a sturdy declamatory style which suits the part of the Gypsy very well.  Brignoli was the Manrico. He is too well known in this favorite role for us to waste words in criticism of his performance; we need only say that he equaled his former successes, and was cordially received, his Ah! Che la morte, in particular, rousing a well deserved enthusiasm. Orlandini’s De Luna we have often commended heretofore for its artistic refinement and the good taste which is apparent in nearly everything he does. His Il balen was encored as usual. Upon the whole, we may pronounce the opening an auspicious one. Whatever fears may have been entertained as to the completeness of Mr. Maretzek’s appointments may be dismissed as unfounded.  Everything was done decently and in order. The chorus numbered thirty three singers—which is quite enough for ordinary occasions and was in very good order, and the orchestra was unexceptionable.”

20)
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 21 November 1868, 348.
21)
Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 21 November 1868, 352.

“Mr. Maretzek’s plans for a brief opera season of one short week would lead a foreign reader to suppose that New York was a provincial town, only occasionally visited by operatic artists. His company, with the exception of the prima donna Cellini, whose name is new to us, shows an array of familiar lyric performers, who will attract audiences through their merits rather than their novelty. It is rumored that if Mis Kellogg joins the troupe the season will be prolonged, and that Auber’s latest opera ‘Un Jour de Bonheur,’ will be produced, together with something new from Flotow’s pen. Next week Verdi, Beethoven and Meyerbeer will be the reigning composers, and as opera will be given on alternate nights in Italian and German, all tastes ought to be gratified. Mrs. States, whose powerful voice attracted favorable comment during the opening season at Pike’s Opera House, will now be heard for the first time in the Academy of Music. Orlandini takes the place of first baritone, so long and satisfactorily held here by Signor Bellini. Hermanns is the best basso in Maretzek’s troupe, and it would unreasonable to ask for a better. We wish for Maretzek every possible victory in his forthcoming skirmish on his old battlefield.”

22)
Review: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 21 November 1868, 248.

“The star of this year’s opera however was Miss Augusta States, who improved tremendously after last year’s failed debut. She possesses a mezzo soprano, which is also full and round in the middle and lower ranges. Her “Leonora” in Il Trovatore was quite acceptable.”

23)
Review: Courrier des √Čtats-Unis, 23 November 1868.

“ . . . . One artist . . . whom you wouldn’t reproach for lacking brilliance, it’s Madame Agathe States; accordingly she had all the honors of the week, for there are still a lot of folks who find that clapping loudly is worth more than clapping appropriately. Would you believe a sparkling voice; something of the sonority of a vast crystal bell; but (always the cursed “but”) an absolute lack of flexibility. Her vocalizes are indistinct and come out badly; the transition between various registers lack homogeneity.

“In return, Mme States takes advantage of her trills; it’s true that she detaches with a splendid dash and sustains them through several measures without the least fatigue. As Leonora in Trovatore, she was much acclaimed . . . . One year of study with Delsarte or Wartel, that’s what’s necessary for Mme States to make her voice more supple and give it charm.

“The baritone Orlandini sang the role of Count di Luna very well . . . “

24)
Announcement: New York Musical Gazette, December 1868, 13.