“Academy of Music.--The closing night of the opera gave us a performance of many encores and of such hearty appreciation and comely enjoyment, that everyone regretted that it was not the first representation of a season instead of the last. That ‘Faust’ is destined to become the most popular opera of the modern Italian repertoire, is indicated in the increasing murmur of applause which is heard in all art circles, and prefigured in every performance by fresh points of public approbation. The encores last night ‘broke out’ in new places. Perhaps that was owing to a very manifest disposition to encore everything--a disposition which was only regulated by the stubborn determination of Mr. Maretzek to bring the performance to an end, and go to Boston. On the first night, it will be remembered, many of the best morceaux were passed over in silence. The change from then to now is noticeable as an indication of a decided familiarity with the music on the part of the public; for the public, rank and file, was represented last night. And as this familiarity increases so will the popularity of the opera. If the cruel exigency of losing money--without which operatic management would be a sham and an imposition--did not compel Mr. Maretzek to travel to Boston, he might, we are persuaded, play ‘Faust’ here for a considerable season, and with profitable and otherwise astounding results to the exchequer.
The cast being as heretofore, we have nothing to say of it, except that it was ample for the full illustration of the work. there was one choral change. The members of the ‘Arion Society’ assisted in the famous ‘Soldiers’ Chorus’ of the fourth act, and gave to it a fullness and martial vigor which otherwise it could not have manifested. The public owes many of its best stentorian surprises to this always-ready and liberal company of amateurs. We are glad to find that they are governed by no narrow prejudices, but that they proffer their services to the Italian as well as to the German opera, and so do a good turn for music all round.
The orchestra, under Mr. Maretzek, was all that could be desired. It is always more than ought to be expected considering the paltry price of admission. On Monday the company commences in Boston.”