Maretzek Italian Opera: Norma

Event Information

Academy of Music

Proprietor / Lessee:
Max Maretzek

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
14 February 2021

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

15 Nov 1869, Evening

Program Details

Miss Treuer’s debut.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Bellini
Text Author: Romani
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Louise C. Trener (role: Adalgisa);  Domenico Coletti (role: Oroveso);  Bernardo Massimiliani (role: Pollio);  Carolina [soprano] Briol (role: Norma)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 14 November 1869, 9.
Review: New York Post, 16 November 1869, 4.

“An audience that has seen the Norma of Grisi, La Grange and Zucchi, is apt to be rather critical over fresh assumptions of the character; and the artist who ventures to wear the garb of the Druid priestess must be prepared to submit to formidable comparisons. Madame de Briol stood this severe test pretty well last night. We have had some better Normas here, and more that were worse. The broad lyric style of the reigning tragic prima donna of the hour fits her for the part, and her vocalization, without being brilliant, is yet fluent enough for the music. The Casta Diva was favorably received last night, and the following cabaletta, ‘A bello a me ritorna’ gave still more satisfaction, the singer introducing in the repetition the alterations of the score, which are now recognized as allowable and as varying the monotony of an exact reproduction of an air just previously sung. In the later and more tragic acts of the opera, Madame de Briol’s personation was recognized as intelligent and effective.

“Miss Louise Trener, a young lady of Jersey City, and a pupil of Signor Errani, was the Adalgisa of the evening. She has a high soprano voice, weak in the lower notes, and not always true. At the same time, it seems susceptible of power, and evinces careful study. Of course the first performance on any stage, of a young singer, can only be recorded as an experiment. Miss Trener’s debut was encouraging and should impel her to continued study and progress. The young lady’s efforts were most kindly received by the audience, and she was frequently applauded.

“Massimiliani as Pollio and Coletti as Oroveso gave average personations, calling for no special comment. The chorus singing was admirable, but the performance of the opera on the whole was not brilliant enough to erase the memory of preceding ‘Norma’ nights.”

Review: New York Sun, 16 November 1869, 1.

“’Norma’ drew an excellent house at the Academy last evening. As was anticipated from Madame Briols’ success in ‘Trovatore’ she made a very good Norma. The Adalgisa was a young lady, a Miss Trener, who made last night her first appearance upon any stage, and acquitted herself very creditably in the severe ordeal. She needs but courage and perseverance to make a success in the career she has chosen.”

Review: New-York Times, 16 November 1869, 5.

Chiefly to give Mme. BRIOL a suitable opportunity to exhibit her powers as a dramatic singer, ‘Norma’ was presented last night at the Academy, with results, so far as that lady is concerned, that may justly be styled very satisfactory, while they cannot be pronounced great. Mme. BRIOL sang the music of the hapless priestess with much force and passion, and brought to bear more delicacy of treatment at times than distinguished her Leonora. In various passages her performance deserved warm commendation; nor should it be forgotten that there were certain drawbacks last night, due to no fault of her own, which might have prevented Mme. BRIOL’S interpretation from reaching the highest pitch of excellence which she is capable of attaining. In Adalgisa, Mlle. LOUISE C. TREUER [sic], said to be a pupil of Signor ERRANI, made her first appearance on any stage. The young lady has a sweet and strong soprano, the best use of which she has only partly attained, was excessively nervous, and fell into the redundant action and occasional uncertainty of delivery which in a novice are so natural. With hard study and practice Mlle. TREUER will make an excellent artist. There is, however, in the lyric profession no royal road, and this fact, it is to be hoped, so promising a young singer will have the intelligence and courage to appreciate. Signor MASSIMILIANI [sic] sang Pollio with taste and discretion, but with signs, whether temporary or other, that his voice is gravitating toward a baritone. Signor COLETTI was energetic and impressive as Oroveso. The chorus was halting at intervals, and there was noticeable weakness in the sopranos. There was much applause last evening, in spite of all defects, and the principals were called out at the end of each act. “

Review: New-York Times, 21 November 1869, 4.

Summary review. “. . . In ‘Norma’ on Monday, Mme. BRIOL made a favorable if not very profound impression, and Signor MASSIMILIANI [sic] effected his reappearance as a faithful and hard-working Pollio. A Mlle. TREUER [sic] made her first curtsy as Adalgisa and was indulgently received. This young lady has a very fine voice indeed, but is as yet too deficient in histrionic ability for the Metropolitan stage. Hard practice elsewhere, however, may do wonders for her, and we shall be glad to hear of and to recognize her future success. . .”