Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
29 August 2018
“We take pleasure in announcing that on Monday evening next Signor Brignoli will make his debut in the Puritani. This event will doubtless create a sensation in musical circles. Maretzek has engaged Brignoli that he may produce a greater variety of operas. We hope that the public will recognize liberally this additional enterprise on the part of our operatic management.”
Brignoli’s return was planned for an earlier date.
“The operatic announcements for the present week offer an unusual variety of lyric entertainment. To-night, at the Academy of Music, the popular public pet Brignoli will appear, after a long absence, in Puritani, supported by Kellogg, Bellini and Biachi.”
Well attended by an elegant audience. Signor Biachi was indisposed and was replaced by Signor Garibaldi. Brignoli was warmly received.
“The present will be an unusually interesting week. It opens to-night, with the rentree of Signor Brignoli, in ‘I Puritani’—an opera in which he has no rival. Miss Kellogg is the Elvira, and Bellini and Biachi are in the cast.”
“There were evidences last evening at the Academy of Music that an event of unusual interest was to take place. Baskets of flowers were being smuggled in, bouquets were to be seen about the house in greater profusion than is customary, and all because Signor Brignoli was to make his rentrée on this occasion, and that the ladies were determined to give their favorite tenor a grand reception. Brignoli was at first nervous to a degree which marred his performance; still he sang the “A te o carra” so sweetly as to draw from the audience a demand for an encore…There can be but one opinion as regards the voice of Signor Brignoli. It is sweet and most expressive, and that it is appreciated at its just value here is proved by his popularity. The oftener we hear him now the more he will please the public.
Miss Kellogg (Elvira) was very successful. She sang the Polacca with great expression and execution and was warmly applauded. She was forced to encore this beautiful morceau amid great applause.
Signor Bellini (Sir Richard), who was in fine voice, sang and acted with much spirit, and was certainly most successful throughout the opera. He received a floral tribute at the commencement of the first act which must have somewhat astonished him. He deserved the flowers, however. We should have noticed above the very satisfactory performance of Miss Stockton, (Henrietta), who sang very well. Signor Garibaldi, who replaced Biachi last evening, the latter being too hoarse to appear, was a satisfactory Sir George. The celebrated duet in the second act was finely sung by himself and Bellini.”
“The Brignoli night at the opera was an occasion of especial interest to the admirers of the tenor who for eight years past has been the favorite, in his line, of the New York public. The entrance of the popular singer on the stage, in his part of Arturo in ‘Puritani,’ was the signal of flattering applause, not a few of the ladies present welcoming him with bouquets. Brignoli had a cold, and seemed nervous, so he sang the ‘A te O cara’ [sic] only tolerably, but was encored in it, and the repetition revealed his accustomed powers. In later parts of the opera he also sang admirably, his exquisite voice telling with the old effect upon the delighted audience. We believe that this is the first time Brignoli has been heard in New York for over a year.
The opera was otherwise satisfactorily sung. Miss Kellogg and Bellini were both applauded, and Garibaldi who took the place of the absent Biachi, was heard with pleasure.”
“Academy of Music.—The rentrée of Signor Brignoli last night in Bellini’s opera of ‘Puritani,’ was the occasion of a very pleasant demonstration on the part of the public toward that deservedly popular artist. On his entrance he was received not only with the usual demonstrations of applause, but was greeted also with a floral tribute from the ladies such as we seldom see paid even to the favored of their own sex. Signor Brignoli was embarrassed by the warmth and honest earnestness of this reception, and in his grand scena, ‘Ah! te oh! cara,’ barely did justice to himself. A tremendous and unmistakable encore gave him the opportunity of once more placing himself correctly before the audience; of showing that he still has a voice unequalled in quality, and mezzo-voce that has never been surpassed. The return of this fine artist enables Mr. Maretzek to produce many operas that would otherwise be lost to the season, and his addition to the company is therefore a most valuable boon to the public.
The general cast of the opera was good. Miss Kellogg was admirable as Elvira, and Miss Stockton sang pleasantly and well as Henrietta; Signor Bellini was in fine voice, but lacked (in the duet) the cooperation of Sig. Biachi—the role of Sir George being played by Sig. Garabalde [sic].”
“The reappearance of Brignoli was, Monday, the occasion for a most flattering ovation for him. But the sympathetic reception of which he was the object didn’t succeed in making him overcome the emotion that this kind of debut caused him. For the entire evening, he wasn’t completely the master of his powers and he remained below what they expected of him. It’s still an effect that we’ve had more than one occasion to observe in him, when he has reappeared after whatever length of an absence. He’s like those naval officers who, no matter how many years of navigation, continue to pay their tribute to seasickness, each time they undertake a new voyage.”
Late announcement. “Max and his singing machines have done a very good business at the Academy since our last, and as Brignoli, the indisposed tenor, comes forward again this evening, we may expected to see a scrush on the occasion. He renews his acquaintance with us in ‘I Puritani.’ Mazzoleni, the other tenor, subsides the nights when Brig. shows.”
“Last week introduced us to Signor Brignoli—but the tenor was qualmish and indisposed and stopped payment of notes. Also to a syiph-like [sic] little person, Miss Harris, of sweet sixteen, who executes rapid passages like a veteran singer who has been on the stage many years. Also to some repetitions of operas—and to Miss Kellogg looking like Ary Scheffer’s picture.—Tonight the Troubadour—Trovatore—will recite his woca [sic].”
“Brignoli, revised, corrected, and otherwise renovated and improved, and supposed to be able to show in his proper form, appeared at the Academy, on Monday evening, Feb 22d, on which occasion the lady admirers of the handsome tenor turned out in droves, and helped to fill the 14th street house with as gay and festive a congregation as we have ever witnessed in that school of music, as it is irreverently and inappropriately called. Brig. was on his best behavior, and was fixed up to kill, but the ladies in the parquet, the balcony, and boxes, were too many for him when they leveled their spy glasses and telescopes at him, and he squirmed a good deal; his voice also became shaky, and it was’nt [sic] the City Hall to a pint of pea nuts [sic] that he did’nt [sic] break down: but he was sufficiently encouraged by an admiring audience to renewed exertions, and he got through the opera with qualified success.”