Grover German Opera: Martha

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Leonard Grover

Carl Anschütz

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
21 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

22 Sep 1864, Evening

Program Details

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Martha, oder Der Markt zu Richmond; Martha, or The Market at Richmond
Composer(s): Flotow
Text Author: Friedrich


Advertisement: New-York Times, 20 September 1864.

Announcement: New York Herald, 22 September 1864.
“To-night Flotow’s beautiful opera of Martha will be given with the same cast as on its last production, when it proved so great a success.  Hablemann, as Lionel, in this opera, makes a great impression, the music is so well suited to his voice.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 22 September 1864.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 22 September 1864.
Two ads on this date; ad for 9/21 reprinted by accident; ad for 9/22 lists performers.
Review: New York Herald, 23 September 1864.
“The German Opera. Martha, ever popular and attractive opera, does not at present draw such overwhelming houses as Faust or Robert, and yet this might be wondered at, the music is so sparkling, so pleasing. With Habelmann as Lionel and Karl Formes as Plunkett, the performance last evening was really fine.  Both of these artists were in excellent voice and were much applauded.  The latter acts his part in a spirit of fun which causes the opera to pass off all the more pleasantly.  Mme. Frederici, as Nancy, acted and sang with more dash than usual, and fairly earned the warm applause bestowed upon her efforts. Mme. Rotter was acceptable as Lady Henrietta although at times her performance was too demonstrative.  She displayed an amount of energy quite uncalled for in this part, and occasionally screamed unpleasantly.”
Review: New-York Times, 23 September 1864, 5.
“Amusements. ACADEMY OF MUSIC.—Notwithstanding the attraction of Herr FORMES’ name, there was by no means a large attendance to witness the last performance of ‘Martha.’ The work has been rather frequently played, and Thursday is not a good night for the average opera goer. Moreover, on this occasion it was sandwiched between operas that were decidedly more attractive, such as ‘Faust’ and the ‘Jewess.’ It is always amiable to account for poor nights, although by no means pleasant to record their occurrence.
Plunkett has always been regarded as one of Herr FORMES’ finest parts, and, in an acting point of view, is still so. Nothing could be better than his manner in the market scene, and subsequently in the spinning quartette and the flirting that precedes it. Vocally, Herr FORMES was not heard to advantage. His Bertram on Monday evening was a much steadier performance. Herr HABELMAN sang excellently as Lionel. Mme. ROTTER was by no means good; indeed we imagine the lady must have been in ill-health, so uneven and unsatisfactory were her efforts. Mdle. Frederici was pleasant, and acquitted herself to the satisfaction of the audience.
Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 23 September 1864.


    “Yesterday, Martha was given with the same success as last week. M. Formès was excellent in the role of Plumkett, and M. Habelmann surpassed himself, as did Mmes Johannsen [not listed in NYT ad] and Frederici.

Review: New York Clipper, 01 October 1864, 198.
“[O]ne of the most brilliant and successful seasons ever known in this city, either in German or Italian Opera. . . . Fashionable and large audiences have assembled at every performance, and the operas have been very successful in artistic and musical effects.  The company, which, with individual inequalities of talent, is, taken as a whole, an admirable one.”
Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 03 October 1864.

     "Mme Rotter has some [good] qualities and some flaws. Her voice is too often muffled and uneven. She sings in spasms. . . . Martha is Mme Rotter's best role. This opera is the one that was perfomed best, without the least comparison, by the German company. It's also the one that attracted the smallest crowd. Perhaps the public is tired of Flotow's charming potpourri, we swear that it gave us an agreeable rest from the noise and the deplorable production of grand opera beyond the reach of M. Grover's artists."