Maretzek Italian Opera: Poliuto

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)

17 Feb 1864, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Donizetti
Text Author: Cammarano
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Joseph Weinlich (role: Callistene);  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Severo);  Giuseppina Medori (role: Paolina);  Francesco Mazzoleni (role: Poliuto);  Signor Maggi (role: Felix);  J. [tenor] Reichardt (role: Nearco)


Announcement: New York Post, 15 February 1864, 2.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 15 February 1864.

Announcement: New York Post, 16 February 1864, 2.

Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 16 February 1864.

Announcement: New-York Times, 16 February 1864.

Announcement: New York Herald, 16 February 1864.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 17 February 1864.

Announcement: New-York Times, 17 February 1864, 4.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 17 February 1864, 7.
Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 17 February 1864.

Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 17 February 1864.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 17 February 1864.

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 17 February 1864.

Review: New York Herald, 18 February 1864.

“Il Poliuto, one of Donizetti’s freshest, most melodious operas, was sung last evening at the Acaemy of Music. Owing to the bitter cold there was not as large an audience as has been customary since the commencement of the operatic season. Still the house was well filled. 

The performance was in every way most pleasing. The gems of the opera, the second grand finale, the tenor aria in the second act, and the world renowned duo in the fourth act, were finely rendered and greatly applauded—in fact the whole of the beautiful music gave evident pleasure to the appreciative audience. Mme. Medori, Signors Mazzoleni and Bellini were in fine voice, and received loud and long continued plaudits.  The choruses were well sung, the mise en scene was very effective, while the orchestra, under the direction of Signor Nuno, played with great ensemble. The opera was a well merited success.”

Review: New-York Times, 18 February 1864, 4.

“The house, as may well be supposed, was slim; and the performance, being new to all the artists, lacked spirit and ensemble.  The individual singers were, in separate numbers, good, and the fluent finale to he second act went off well, but the effect of the whole opera was hardly satisfactory.”

Review: New York Post, 18 February 1864.

“The Opera House audience last night, was considerably diminished by the intensely cold weather, yet, notwithstanding the artists sang with dramatic fervor of action and in intensity of vocalization which both charmed the eye and delighted the ear. Seldom have the melodies of ‘Poliuto’ been more passionately interpreted; and it may be truly said that Donizetti had a faithful echo of himself last night in Medori, Mazzolini [sic] and Bellini. A warmer house and some further rehearsals of the concerted music would, however, have enhanced the enjoyment of the evening.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 18 February 1864.

Academy of Music.—Thermometer down to five degrees—wind sped fiercely from the North Pole—not the time for noctes ambrosians at the Opera. But still there was a larger audience than might have been expected with such terrific weather. The opera of The Martyrs is not one of Donizetti’s strong efforts. Apollo nods sometimes. But as it is, it requires better rehearsal than it seemed to have received last night. There were some individual points worthy of remark, but as a whole it cannot be considered a prominent success. The characters were by Madame Medori, and Signori Mazzoleni, Bellini, Weinlich, etc.”

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 18 February 1864, 8.

Not well attended.  The opera was well performed, yet the cold weather noticeably affected some of the artists’ voices.  Il poliuto is not necessarily one of Donizetti’s best works.