Maretzek Italian Opera: Lucrezia Borgia

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Jaime Nuno

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 August 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

06 Apr 1864, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Lucretia Borgia
Composer(s): Donizetti
Text Author: Romani
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Duke Alfonso);  Giuseppina Medori (role: Lucrezia);  Henrietta Sulzer (role: Orsini);  Francesco Mazzoleni (role: Gennaro);  Guglielmo Lotti (role: Liverotto);  Joseph Weinlich (role: Petrucio);  Amati Dubreuil (role: Gazella)


Announcement: New York Herald, 06 April 1864.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 06 April 1864.

Announcement: New-York Times, 06 April 1864, 4.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 06 April 1864, 7.

Advertisement: Courrier des √Čtats-Unis, 06 April 1864.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 06 April 1864.

Review: New York Herald, 07 April 1864, 4.

     “It is not often that Lucrezia has been produced in a more satisfactory manner than it was last night.  All the leading artists were not only in good voice, but they seemed to throw their whole force into their several roles.  Medori, always highly dramatic, excelled herself, and called forth almost unlimited applause. Her fine dramatic powers were perhaps never more successfully developed, while her fidelity to the work of the composer was unexceptionable. She took no liberties, as other eminent artists often do, with the music. This is a peculiarity in Medori, and it is one much to be admired, the more so because of its rarity. She not only is faithful to the author, but she does not disregard the desire of the critical public to have the music as written correctly rendered.
Mazzoleni was positively superb as Gennaro.  In the second act he exhibited an intensity of passion, in addition to his fine singing, which called forth loud applause. The trio in this act—the gem of the opera—was exquisitely sung.

     We have been accustomed to hear and admire Brignoli in this role, and though a comparison between him and Mazzoleni may be inapt, we may draw a contrast between a tenore di grazia and a tenore robusto, and divide our favors with each. There are some who incline to the more elegant and liquid strains of the former; other who prefer the more robust, firm and positive style of the latter. We do not quarrel with the lily because we do not find in its delicate form and perfume the luscious beauty and fragrance of the rose; we do not reject the aroma of the violet because it does not rival the magnolia; but, at all events, we may be satisfied with the fact that we now possess two of the finest tenors we have ever had in this country, hardly excepting Mario.

     The other artists were quite equal to their task last night.  Bellini was in excellent voice, and sang the opening part of his role with considerable power.  Mlle. Sulzer received much applause for her rendering of the Brindisi.”

Review: New York Post, 07 April 1864, 2.
“At the Opera House last night there was a good performance of ‘Lucrezia Borgia,’ to a not overcrowded house.”
Review: New-York Times, 07 April 1864, 4.
“The relapse from the grand opera of the German school—and in that category we class Gounod’s ‘Faust’—to the more lyric drama of the Italian, does not, at the present moment, appear to be acceptable to the public.  Without referring to the matter of taste, which so far as the public is concerned, may often be questioned, but in this particular instance is true to great artists and great composers, we may state briefly that the attendance last evening was not equal to that which witnessed the performance of ‘Robert le Diable,’ and of ‘Faust’ on the two preceding evenings.  The performance, however, was excellent, and met with that hearty meed [sic] of applause which the few more often bestow judiciously than the many.  The leading artists were in excellent voice.  Mme. Medori, indeed, as a singer and an actress, surpassed herself.  In the poison scene of the second act she was perfectly grand, and was most happily supported by Signor Mazzoleni, who gave the madre mia with an earnestness and tender appreciation of its relation to the scene, that was thoroughly enjoyable.  Signor Bellini sang the music of the Duke with fine intelligence and success.  It is, however, a little too low for his voice.  Mlle. Sulzer was the Orsini, and won the customary honors in the Brindisi.”