Maretzek Italian Opera: Faust

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 August 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

04 Feb 1864, Evening

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Gounod
Text Author: Barbier, Carré
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Francesco Mazzoleni (role: Faust);  Hannibal Biachi (role: Mephistopheles);  Wilhelm [baritone] Müller (role: Wagner);  Fanny Stockton (role: Martha);  Clara Louise Kellogg (role: Margherita);  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Valentino);  Henrietta Sulzer (role: Seibel)


Announcement: New-York Times, 02 February 1864, 4.

Announcement: New York Herald, 02 February 1864.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 02 February 1864.
Announcement: New York Post, 03 February 1864, 2.

Announcement: New York Herald, 04 February 1864.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 04 February 1864.

Announcement: New-York Times, 04 February 1864, 4.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 04 February 1864, 7.
Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 04 February 1864.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 04 February 1864.

Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 04 February 1864.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 04 February 1864.

Announcement: New York Post, 04 February 1864.

Advertisement: New York Post, 04 February 1864.
Article: New York Herald, 05 February 1864.

"Last evening Gounod’s exquisite opera of Faust drew an immense audience to the Academy of Music. Throughout the performance the applause bestowed upon the many gems which abound in this work of the heartiest, and surely the artists deserved it. Miss Kellogg has in Margherita a part exactly suited to her style, and she makes the most of it achieving a marked success. The Bostonians, with good reason, went into raptures over her singing and acting in this part, and her New York hearers seem equally pleased with her performance. In the garden scene she was especially successful, and was warmly applauded. Her make up as the German maiden is extremely artistic, while she sings the music with great sweetness and expression.

            Signor Mazzoleni, as Faust, was, as usual, very successful. He sings the music, which is not exactly suited to his style, most pleasingly, which he acts the role in just that impassioned manner which should distinguish the rejuvenate philosopher. He deservedly shared the applause which was so liberally bestowed upon the artists by the delighted public.

            Signor Biachi was vastly successful as Mephistopheles. He was several times encored, and evidently had the entire sympathy of the audience in all his deviltry. His ode to gold and the serenade, which he sings with so much dash, were repeated at their reiterated requests.

            The choruses were admirably sung and were immensely applauded, especially the grand Soldiers’ Chorus, which ever stirs up the audience to enthusiastic approval. The orchestra and the mise en scene were all that could be desired.We must not omit a word of praise as to Signor Bellini’s Valentino and Mlle Sulzer’s Siebel, both secondary roles, which, well sung as they are by these artists, add greatly to the merit of the performance.”      

Review: New York Post, 05 February 1864, 2.

“[I]n every respect a superb performance, though there were those among the audience who compared certain portions of it unfavorably with the rendering by the German troupe.  As regards the choruses, the Germans certainly had the advantage.

Miss Kellogg and Mazzoleni were the central attractions last night, the young prima donna singing and acting with exquisite taste, and most intelligently supported by the tenor.  Biachi finds in Mephistopheles his best part, his tall, lithe figure and his deep yet flexible voice seeming peculiarly fitted for the character.  The audience was so very large and enthusiastic that the experiment of an extra night must have been very satisfactory to the management.”

Review: New-York Times, 05 February 1864, 4.

“The experiment of a fourth regular night was made last night, with a degree of success that establishes at once the capacity of our public for a more liberal supply of opera than has been thought practicable or—at all events—desirable.  Long before the performance commenced the box-office had sold out all its interest in the individual comfort of the audience, and exhibited the distress in the well-known banner inscribed ‘Standing room only.’ This result is ascribably to good management. Mr. Maretzek, with the wily tactics of a prudent General, reserved his greatest strength for the occasion.  Gounod’s “Faust” would draw a crowded house on a far worse night than Thursday.  It has, so far, only flushed the community with pleasure, and months will elapse ere the lieges are satisfied of their sweets.  The performance last night was in every respect enjoyable.  All the artists were in excellent voice, and the choral and orchestral masses seemed to be animated by the warmth that resulted from the general success. “Faust” is too complete a work to gain much from incidental encores.  Its success is genuine, and will, we think be lasting, because it is based upon a broad and genuine impression. Nevertheless, there were demands for repetition, and general satisfaction at what was vouchsafed in that way.  Mr. Maretzek may be congratulated on the complete acceptance of his Thursday evening experiment.  With such a repertoire he can play not only four but six times a week, if he is so disposed.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 05 February 1864.

“[A] very brilliant audience assembled last night. The opera was Faust. With music bearing the inspiration of genius, with melodies such as the great masters of opera-writing put into their works such an audience ought in figurative language “to take the roof off with applause.” But with the clumsily written uninspired melodies which the solo singers have to declaim there was the least possible applause: and this is not the fault of the vocalists for they tried their best.  We except to this charge of dullness the peroration of the air which Signor Mazzoleni renders, which was well received; and the dramatic business of the love scene, where the tolerably broad business concludes the act. The hearty applause was given to the consumption chorus of the old men and to another chorus.

            With these facts plain to every one present we cannot comprehend the announcement of the success of Faust.  We have heard hundreds of times for a great aria, more applause than was bestowed on the whole of the work.”

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 05 February 1864, 8.

Sold out event.  The performance was even better than those of last season.

Review: New York Clipper, 13 February 1864, 347.

“Max Maretzek’s Italian Opera Troupe filled up the entire week at the Academy, giving six operatic performances to pretty good business.”

COMMENT: The Maretzek Troupe only gave five performances this week.

Review: Musical Review and World, 13 February 1864, 55.

General remark on the new Maretzek season.  “Maretzek’s Company have returned to the Academy, and are giving the old operas with the usual effect.”

Review: Musical Review and World, 27 February 1864, 71.

“The Italian Opera at the Academy of Music is doing a good business. ‘Faust’ and ‘Norma’ seem to be appreciated most by the public. Signor Brignoli was welcomed with the usual eclat. Siebel (in Faust) and Mephisto have at last come to good terms, at least as far as appearances go, for the papers inform us, that Signor Biachi was married to Miss Suzler before Mayor Gunther.”