Maretzek Italian Opera: Un Ballo in maschera

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
30 May 2020

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

17 Dec 1869, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka A Masked ball; Masked ball
Composer(s): Verdi
Text Author: Somma


Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 15 December 1869, 7.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 16 December 1869, 12.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 16 December 1869, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 17 December 1869, 2.

“This evening, it will be remembered, is the last of the season at the Academy of Music, and the presentation of an opera as popular as Verdi’s ‘Ballo in Maschera,’ will be sure to draw a good house, especially as the tenor Lefranc takes the principal part. Briol, Lami and Renya are also included in the cast.”

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

“A rather uneven, but in parts exceedingly clever performance of Verdi’s ‘Il [sic] Ballo in Maschera’ was given at the Academy last night, constituting the twentieth and concluding performance of the subscription season. There were frequent differences of opinion between orchestra and chorus; some of the singers seemed uncertain of their parts; Signor Lefranc was at first a little hoarse, and the concealed prompter was now and then highly vociferous—perhaps necessarily so, in his admonitions. And yet, so charmingly did the popular tenor sing his best songs—especially the barcarole in the second act, and so admirably were most of the concerted pieces given by the characters participating, and so capitally did all concerned come up to the mark in the critical situations, that the whole performance must fairly be set down as one of the most emphatic successes of the season. Mme. Briol was in good voice and rendered the music of Amelia with her usual firmness and precision. Mlle. Lami executed the important and difficult passages intrusted [sic] to Oscar very nicely indeed, and Signor Reyna was hardly ever out of tune in Reinhart. All these were things to be thankful for, and the crowded audience testified their approval by cordial applause. As we have said, this representation winds up the subscription season.”

Review: New York Post, 18 December 1869, 4.

“The performance last night at the Academy of Music of the ‘Ballo in Maschera’ closed the season, which has been fairly successful, though it had suffered somewhat from the failure of Signore Cottone, the baritone, to fill his engagement. At the opera of last night there was a large and brilliant audience, and Briol and Lefranc were thoroughly in their element, and sang with great feeling and success. Mlle. Lami appeared as the Page, and gave satisfaction.”

Review: New-York Times, 19 December 1869, 4.

“The compunction we have expressed concerning Mme. Briol is applicable in a measure to Signot [sic] Renya. He is one of the most unequal singers we have ever heard. On Friday night, for instance, he sang the first acts of Reinhardt in ‘Il Ballo’ admirably and was heartily applauded; but he afterward broke down and was especially inefficient in the trying passages of the close. Signor Reyna is an experienced artist, but he lacks power and certainty for the arduous baritone range and his besetting tendency to sing false sometimes—but no means always—mars his best efforts.” This paragraph comes at the close of a larger article reviewing the Maretzek opera season. For this article in full, see separate event entry of 12/19/69: Article on the recent Italian opera season.