Maretzek German Opera: Der Freischütz

Event Information

Venue(s):
Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Conductor(s):
Max Maretzek

Event Type:
Opera

Record Information

Status:
Published

Last Updated:
1 June 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

19 Nov 1868, 8:00 PM

Program Details

First appearance of Anna de la Grange in German opera.

Performers and/or Works Performed

1)
aka Der Freischutz; The Freeshooter; Freyschutz
Composer(s): Weber
Text Author: Kind
Participants:  Maretzek German Opera Company;  Anna de La Grange (role: Agatha);  Johanna Rotter (role: Anna);  Herr Behringer (role: Cuno);  Theodore Habelmann (role: Max);  Wilhelm [baritone] Müller (role: the Hermit);  J. [tenor] Reichardt (role: the Prince);  Wilhelm Formes (role: Caspar)

Citations

1)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 16 November 1868, 7.
2)
Advertisement: New York Herald, 18 November 1868.
3)
Announcement: New York Post, 18 November 1868.
4)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 18 November 1868, 5.
5)
Announcement: New York Post, 19 November 1868.
6)
Announcement: New-York Times, 19 November 1868, 4.

“To-night Weber’s opera of Der Freischutz will be played. For the first time Mme. De la Grange will sing entirely in German. She will be supported by the really excellent German company which Mr. Maretzek has now under his direction.”

7)
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 19 November 1868, 5.
8)
Review: New York Post, 20 November 1868, [2].

“There was at the Academy of Music last night a highly effective performance of ‘Der Freischutz.’ The opera was sung in German and sung well.  La Grange as Agatha and Rotter as Annette were specially applauded.”

9)
Review: New-York Times, 20 November 1868, 5.

“‘Der Freischutz’ was given last evening more effectively than we have heard it here for many months or years. The cast included Mme. LAGRANGE, who sang for the first time regularly in German, and with Mme. ROTTER, Herr HABELMANN, Herr FORMES and others to support her, gave a prominence to the leading parts which could hardly be exceeded. The chorus and orchestra were admirable.”

10)
Review: New York Sun, 21 November 1868, 1.

“Maretzek, the inscrutable, the indefatigable, the impecunious, has reappeared. No one knew what had become of the veteran Max.  It was thought that he had fled before the advancing French hosts and feared to meet the all-conquering Offenbach. But he has mustered his Italian band and reinforced it by a German company, and entrenched himself in the Academy of Music, and flaunts defiance at Napoleon Grau and Field-Marshal Bateman, and all their French legions. Whether this Franco-Italian war is to be a long or a short one depends upon the favor Maretzek meets from the public, and that favor does not seem to be very liberally extended as yet. German and Italian opera are played on alternate nights. ‘Fidelio’ and ‘Freischutz’ have been given in the former language this week, and ‘Trovatore’ and the ‘Sicilian Verspers’ in the latter. The representation of ‘Der Freischutz’ was a very unequal one. Mme. La Grange and Mme. Rotter were the prima donnas. Mme. La Grange is in many respects an admirable artist, but finds it difficult to sing a pure, even note tone; more difficult still to be always true to the pitch. As to one of the other principal characters, whose name it would be invidious to mention, his singing was merely a series of melancholy approximations to the notes in question. He hit somewhere near them, and whether he was a semitone or so false or sharp was as it happened—sometimes the one, sometimes the other. Fortunately, his part was not a very important one, and the opera survived his experiments on the chromatic scale. In fact it would take a great deal of bad singing to kill such an opera as ‘Der Freischutz.’ It is melodious and lovely from the first note to the last. The orchestral work is so fine, and embodies so much of the ideas, that a steady, well trained, well led orchestra would of itself carry the opera through almost every difficulty. Melody succeeds melody from beginning to end, and Italian beauty of phrasing and melodic beauty is everywhere wedded in it to the fine orchestral harmonies that strengthen and lend interest to the whole work. The music of the Wolf’s-glen scene is particularly sombre [sic], weird, and effective. Its effect, however, is not enhanced by the fizzing of roman candles, and the general claptrap that has been contrived to illustrate the scene at the Academy. There is a promise of novelties at both the French operas, and at both, it is said, the works of some other composer than Offenbach are to be produced. If this proves true it will probably give a quietus to Maretzek’s further efforts, as he seems to have nothing new to offer to the public, and gives sign of no special enterprise.”

11)
Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 23 November 1868.

“ . . . . It’s better not to talk . . . of Freischutz, Mme de Lagrange excepted and [with] a little good point placed in reserve for Mme Rotter . . .”

12)
Review: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 12 December 1868, 296.

(…) “the audience, which followed the performance with amazement and horror,” (…)