Maretzek Italian Opera: Lucrezia Borgia

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Auguste Predigam

Price: $1 advance tickets; $1.50 at the door

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 August 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

05 Oct 1864, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Third subscription night.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Lucretia Borgia
Composer(s): Donizetti
Text Author: Romani
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Guglielmo Lotti (role: Gennaro);  Augustino Susini (role: The Duke);  Catarina Morensi (role: Maffio Orsini);  Carlotta Carozzi-Zucchi (role: Lucrezia)


Announcement: New York Herald, 04 October 1864.
Susini will sing Lucrezia Borgia on Wed., with Carozzi-Zucchi as the guilty duchesse.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 04 October 1864.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 04 October 1864.

Announcement: New York Herald, 05 October 1864.
Rehearsals every Saturday, at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m.  Subscriptions of 3 tickets to each of 5 concerts, but no rehearsals, $15.  For Associate members, one ticket to all rehearsals and concerts, $8.  Single tickets in advance, $1; at the door on the night of the performance, $1.50.
Review: New York Herald, 06 October 1864.

      “The announcement of Lucrezia Borgia drew a large audience to the Academy of Music last night, and the Opera was given in a manner that allows of something beside the usual stereotype words of cold approbation or of stifled disapproval. Carozzi-Zucchi, as Lucrezia, was admirable, as was of course expected. Less demonstrative in the part than some of her predecessors, she yet acted and sang with emphasis and vigor, showing in by play, as well as in her tragic force, her high histrionic ability. Her opening air, ‘Come e bello,’ was a charming bit of true vocalization, though we missed the allegro movement which follows it, and is too frequently omitted. In the duet in the second act, and the air, 'M'odi, m'odi,' of the thirds, Zucchi also gave great satisfaction.

     An unexpected surprise awaited the audience in the tenor Lotti, who has very greatly improved since he last sang here. His ‘Di Pescatore ignobile’ was extremely well sung, and though several liberties were taken with the music, they were yet in good taste, and certainly served to show off the tenor’s higher notes to better advantage. To Lotti, also, was principally due the encore awarded to the favorite trio of the second act, his pure, delicate voice interpreting with much pathos Gennaro’s beautiful appeal to his mother.

     Morsensi sang in a bold, dashing style, well suited to the part of Orsini, eliciting the usual applause in the brindisi. Susini, as the Duke, began with a promise to which there was but an unsatisfactory fruition; for the hoarseness soon made his singing equally ungrateful to the artist and the audience."

Review: New York Post, 06 October 1864.

     “The opera of ‘Lucrezia Borgia’ attracted a large audience to the Academy last evening. Everybody was curious to see Signora Carozzi-Zucchi in the character of Lucrezia, which taxes not only the vocal powers of an artist, but all her histrionic resources. The new prima donna was fully equal to the exigencies of her part, and awakened the warmest admiration and the most flattering applause. Mlle. Morensi is the finished type of a dashing Maffio Orsini. Her vocal and physical personation of the character was a great triumph. Signor Lotti, as Gennaro, took every one by surprise; not by his acting, which is tame, but by his finished vocalization. By study and application he seems to have developed all the beauties of his voice. The only blur in the whole performance was due to Signor Susini, who had a bad cold, and vocally suffocated the magnificent Duke Alfonzo.”

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 06 October 1864.
The performance, though not well attended, was almost flawless.  Lotti has improved his vocal and acting abilities to a point where he is a fine singer now.  Mrs. Zucci sings with a tremolo.  Susini was hoarse, which has been happening frequently of late.
Review: Courrier des √Čtats-Unis, 10 October 1864, 1-2.
Part of a review of the first week of Italian opera.  “Carozzi-Zucchi’s performance in Lucrezia Borgia was excellent.  She is New York’s unsurpassed goddess, not only for her voice, but also her method, style, and education.  She does not scream but sings throughout.  Her voice is warm, which is a rarity.  She knows how to swell and spin out a note and how to phrase a recitative.  Her vocal organ is apt for all kinds of emotional expressions, from tenderness to rage, from joy to horror. Never a doubtful intonation, never one of those piercing and discordant cries with which too many singers believe they can carry away the public. Mme. Carozzi has the perfections that aren’t appreciated except by delicate ears, and she can sustain a comparison with any justly famous singer in Europe. She was best in Lucrezia, her voice being more suitable for the music of Donizetti than that of Verdi.  She is a great tragedienne. Some people thought that she appeared too young in Lucrezia, but that’s one of those faults that there’s always time to correct. . . . Morensi’s performance in Lucrezia was better than in Trovatore, with justice.  As Azucena, she was beyond herself, due, perhaps, to nervousness or to illness.  She has an admirable instrument and only needs more study to achieve a good reputation. She has all the allures and all the largeness of gesture for grand opera but her face stays expressionless. . . . Lotti is a good comic tenor, but the power of his voice does not allow him to sing roles de force. We put aside Lucia in which he had to perform, but in Lucretia he astonished us. But he doesn’t at all have the appearance of a Gennaro. In roles that are more appropriate to him, he is a likeable singer and full of taste. He is charming in Martha. His only flaw is to sing a little in his throat, less completely than M. Massimiliani, who isn’t able to draw out his big notes from his chest, and is obliged to force his voice. The two tenors are also one worse than the other, without being completely ridiculous. They act just enough to not shock reality too much. Bellini has a big baritone voice, but has a tendency to sing too loud.  His voice muzzles the choir, the soloists and the orchestra.”  Predigam, who conducted on Wednesday, is praised.  The opening week of the season was excellent.
Review: Dwight's Journal of Music, 12 November 1864, 344.
“As Lucrezia and Leonora, Mme. Zucchi was less effective with the public, because more self-concentrated in her expression of these characters; still she showed herself a thinking, as well as a gifted artist.”