Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
29 August 2018
Lucrezia Borgia presented “by general demand.” Obviously a mistake; this opera was perf. on 11/20.
“The universal approbation with which Peri’s grand Opera of ‘Judith’ was received at its first representation on Wednesday, and the unanimous request made by the public Press for its immediate repetition, have induced the director to present it on this occasion for the last time, as it has to be withdrawn to make room for other novelties. . . . With new and magnificent costumes, new scenery, appointments, military band, increased orchestra.”
Begins with analysis of the music and historical background on the time the opera was composed. The performance was excellent. Mad. Medori was outstanding, as well as Bellini and Signor Mazzoleni.
“‘Giudetta’ is the name of a ‘biblical opera,’ by Peri, which was performed twice, and, we hope, will soon find that rest, from which it should never have been disturbed. An ordinary opera, by any of the followers of Verdi, is already bad enough, but a ‘biblical opera’ is decidedly worse. The story of ‘Judith and Holofernes,’ put to test by the brass of a modern Italian composer, puts it in a considerably more hideous light than it enjoys already by itself. The effect of a prima-donna swinging the head of a man, she has just cut off, in the air, may be very fine, but sustained by the music of Signor Peri, it is positively too fine to be enjoyed by us. But, after all, we have to be thankful to be made acquainted with these modern Italian operas, for they make us understand why Verdi could become so popular. We shall, here after, enjoy Verdi’s music much better.”