Maretzek Italian Opera: Macbeth

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 August 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

26 Oct 1863, Evening

Program Details

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Verdi
Text Author: Piave
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Giuseppina Medori (role: Lady Macbeth);  T. [tenor] Rubio (role: Malcolm);  Wilhelm [baritone] Müller (role: the Doctor);  Guglielmo Lotti (role: Macduff);  Domenico Coletti (role: Banquo);  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Macbeth)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 23 October 1863, 1.

Announcement: New York Post, 23 October 1863.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 23 October 1863, 7.

Announcement: New York Post, 24 October 1863.

Announcement: New York Herald, 26 October 1863, 4.

Announcement: New York Post, 26 October 1863, 2.

Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 26 October 1863.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 26 October 1863.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 26 October 1863.

Review: New York Post, 27 October 1863.

“The second representation of Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’ was given last evening at the Academy of Music, and both from the power with which this fine Shakespearean opera was rendered, and from the applause with which it was welcomed, we may fairly anticipate for it as great popularity in this metropolis as has been already achieved in Florence and other European cities. Medori eclipsed all her previous efforts in the grand night scene of the fourth act. Her rendering of the fine passage ‘Di sangue umana’ was thrilling in the extreme. She was honored with an enthusiastic encore in the brindisi, as was also the promising young artist Lotti in one or two of his most elaborate morceaux. Bellini was in fine voice, and while he sang with all his usual precision and fulness [sic] of vocalization, his acting was less exaggerated and more in accordance with the simple canons of a severe and refined taste. The chorus is improving, and gave the finale of the first act with promising élan and accuracy. Too often has the chorus, especially the female portion of it, justified Virgil’s remark, ‘voce [illeg].’ We are glad to note a very decided advance in the right direction.”

Review: New-York Times, 27 October 1863, 8.

“An admirable attendance was present, and testified its approval of the opera in the heartiest way. The performance was much better than on the first night. It is always so when the company feels confident of success, and knows that it is directly contributing to it. Mme. Medori sang and acted with great dramatic power and skill. In a work like this there is scope for the varied abilities of this veritable prima donna. Her large voice is amply provided for by the composer, and there are opportunities for rolling it out in a highly impressive way. Mme. Medori was received with enthusiasm, and had to repeat her principal morceaux. Signor Bellini was again in excellent voice. We have no recollection of ever having heard him to greater advantage. The entire performance was much above the average.”

Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 27 October 1863.

Only a mention that it was performed.

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 October 1863, 8.

“Once again, the repeat of Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’ drew a big audience into the halls of our opera house.  Whatever one might say against Verdi’s works, they always appeal to the public and impresarios.  In our commentary after the first performance of ‘Macbeth,’ we already opined that the work could, in the name of a dramatic opera, claim very little.  We also sustain our judgment of yesterday’s presentations.  As in most arias, cavatinas, ensembles, etc., the three-four time, with its unavoidable waltz reference, dominated.  This meter often contradicted the meaning of the words to which the music was set, yielding little accord between the instrumental music and the nature of the plot.  Of the ensembles, which actually distinguish dramatic operas, almost all have very appealing melodies, but taken as single numbers, are on the whole, naturally both instrumentally and vocally impoverished.  The principal roles, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, which lay in the hands of Signor Bellini and Mme. Medori, require above all, strength, strength and more strength of voice, and for that a good word can be said.  Fortunately, this rare trait is abundantly present in these two members of Maretzek’s troupe, that is, they tossed off with skill their difficult vocal and dramatic tasks, and encountered well-deserved applause.  The letter scene in the first act was performed excellently by Mme. Medori.  In the second act finale, Mr. Lotti sang very beautifully.  He earned the applause of the audience, singing the part of Macduff.  That character was really completely botched by the composer – Mr. Verdi makes him, not of woman born, into a most tame and harmless young man, who sings tenor and performs various beautiful songs.  The choruses went precisely, especially the witches’ chorus, which gave us great joy, since the choruses are most often the weakest part of our opera productions.  The sets and costumes in ‘Macbeth’ leave nothing further to wish for, and the opera will certainly have several full houses.  Tomorrow evening ‘The Troubadours’ will be presented.”

Announcement: Dwight's Journal of Music, 31 October 1863, 128.