Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
16 December 2010
“We are glad to learn that the reserved places are nearly all disposed of.”
“There will be an extra performance at the Academy of Music to-night, for the benefit of Mr. Max Maretzek. Such an announcement would be meanly received if it did not suffice to fill the establishment from pit to roof. Mr. Maretzek’s energy during the past two months has been unexampled. He has produced several new operas and revived a dozen of acceptable old ones. In the last week of his season he treated his patrons to Gounod’s ‘Faust’—a work which will be repeated for his benefit to-night. If Mr. Maretzek had been able to bring this important work before the public at an earlier period of the season, he would have gained a rich reward for his enterprise. The work has leaped already into popularity. . . . If Mr. Maretzek could remain at the Academy for a month longer, he would have no occasion to change his programme. The ‘Faust’ furore would carry him safely through to Christmas. This, unfortunately, is no longer possible. To-night we are to hear the opera for the last time. This, and the circumstance that the impresario is a favorite with the public, will, we are sure, fill the house to overflowing. If it does not, nothing we can say will contribute to that end.”
“The consequence of the good weather was a good audience—not a first rate audience, as it ought to have been, but an audience neither too fashionable nor too crowded for comfort. The display of toilettes was quite fine. Red, white and blue are the favorite colors now in dress, as in everything else, and certainly the ladies were patriotic enough last evening. . . . [W]e noticed more bonnets in the private boxes that we are accustomed or desire to see. Bandboxes, not opera boxes, were designed for bonnets.
. . . There was not the least applause during the first act last night, although Mazzoleni twice deserved an encore. Maretzek, too, was but coldly welcomed when he took the conductor’s chair and baton.
If opera is ever to become really popular in this democratic country, such works as ‘Faust,’ and such artists as those of Maretzek’s troupe, and such an impresario as Maretzek himself, will help the good work along wonderfully. . . . The artists did excellently last night. . . . They all sang well, of course, but they also acted with a skill and spirit that made the meaning of every scene, if not of every word, easily intelligible, even to those who do not understand Italian and will not read the libretto. Mazzoleni, in a role not by any means his best, carried off the honors of the evening. Miss Kellogg, who is a very pleasing singer, but not a great singer—her voice is not powerful enough for that—was also admirable. Ypolito [sic], Sulzer and the rest fully satisfied the audience.
In conclusion, we congratulate Maretzek upon his successful season.”
Very short review. Faust “rang down the curtain upon a perfectly successful season of Italian Opera.”
“Notwithstanding the first snow of the season . . . the house presented a most brilliant appearance. The opera was ‘Faust,’ which thus brought the season to a successful close.”