Academy of Music
9 July 2022
“With the performance of next Wednesday night the brief season will be brought to a close. It has so far, we understand, been pecuniarily successful, and it is hinted that Mr. Albites will in the fall make another effort in the same direction.”
“‘Il Trovatore’ has proved the most successful work produced during the present Italian opera season at the Academy. Its success is mainly owing to the artistic efforts of the three principal artistes in the cast—Miss Kellogg, Mme. Gazzaniga, and the prince of tenors, Brignoli. The appearance of these great artistes together in the same opera can never fail to crowd the Academy with the beauty and fashion of New York. Last night was no exception. Parquet, balcony and boxes bore ample testimony to the popularity of these artistes and also to the general excellence of the company that supported them. Had Brignoli and Kellogg appeared in every opera produced during this season the houses would have been the same. They are the representative lyric artists of America, and they never fall to prove powerful magnets in Italian opera. Seldom has this favorite but much abused opera of Verdi been rendered in such unexceptionable style as by the Brignoli Italian Opera Company.”
“There was last night at the Academy another really fine performance of ‘Trovatore,’ Miss Kellogg singing the leading part of Leonora with greater ease and abandon than on the previous occasions in which she has appeared in this opera. In the last act her singing of the Amor sul ali was an exquisite piece of finished vocalization that LaGrange herself could scarcely have surpassed. In the more dramatic strains which follow that lovely melody, Miss Kellogg acted with feeling and grace. There is no doubt that, notwithstanding a lack of passionate expression in certain parts, Leonora will ever remain one of Miss Kellogg’s best parts.
“The support last night was excellent. Gazzaniga threw unusual fire and action into the music of Azucena, and Brignoli as Manrico was in his best voice. Signor Petrilli did better as Luna than ever before, and the whole opera was as cordially received as if it were a refreshing novelty instead of an old, old friend familiar to our public for the last fifteen years.”
Brief. “Several of our daily papers, in referring to the opera one evening the past week, criticised [sic] Brignoli, when, in fact, he was not present at all. The ‘reliable dailies’ are not always to be depended on for truthfulness.” See New York Clipper review of same day for more information.
“On Wednesday evening, ‘Il Trovatore’ was given, with Miss Clara Louise Kxellogg as Leonora, Miss Marietta Gazzaniga as Azucena, and Signors Petrilli [sic], Fosatti [sic], and Filipi (not Brignoli, as erratically appeared in the Thursday notice of two daily contemporaries) as Count De Luna, Ferrando and Manrico, respectively. A detailed criticism of such a familiar opera as ‘Il Trovatore,’ would be tautologically superfluous, the more so when we feel impelled to say that, to the best of our knowledge and belief, its representation was almost perfect, from prima donna down, even to the chorus. The singing and acting, separate and in combination, was impressive, indeed. Miss Kellogg, in both phases, was superb, as she had evidently lost all individual identity, and was Leonora herself, and her pathos and expression, in the following quotation,
‘I cannot combat these thick coming sorrows,
My soul is sick—’twere best to die!’
near the close of the third act, was the very essence of pathetic sentiment; so again in her first scene in the fourth act, and again and then again. Gazzaniga as Azucena also left no room for criticism (for the common rendering of the term is to find fault, we believe), for an unqualified eulogy is her due, especially in her several scenes and interviews with her supposed son, Manrico. The male characters were also well personified, as stated above, especially in acting, Sig. Filipi deserving special mention, particularly in the closing scenes with Leonora on being released from imprisonment. The only fault we had to find was the paucity of proper scenery. The orchestral accompaniments were perfect, an[d] one oboe accompaniment, with one of Miss Kellogg’s shrill but soft solos, could only have its equal among the singing birds of springtime. P. Giorza had a good orchestra at his command, and controlled it well, without those demonstrative and ape-like oscillations of neck, arms and moustache. In fact, both ‘Il Poliuto’ and ‘Il Trovatore’ were rendered in a style unsurpassed, if equalled [sic], this season, and it would not be very dangerous to assert, several seasons.”