Maretzek Italian Opera: Faust

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 August 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

17 Oct 1864, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Eighth subscription night.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Gounod
Text Author: Barbier, Carré
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Augustino Susini (role: Mephistopheles);  Clara Louise Kellogg (role: Marguerita);  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Valentine);  Mlle. Ernestine;  Wilhelm [baritone] Müller;  Frida de Gebele (role: Siebel);  Mlle. [dancer] Auriol;  Fanny Stockton;  Guglielmo Lotti (role: Faust)


Announcement: New York Herald, 13 October 1864.
Clara Louise Kellogg joins the company tonight.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 13 October 1864.

Advertisement: New-York Times, 13 October 1864.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 15 October 1864.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 16 October 1864.

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 16 October 1864.
Two unemployed Italian singers (part of the audience) who are members of the once powerful but now almost extinguished class of the “dead heads” displayed rivalry towards the lead singer Mr. Lotti.  They were banned by Maretzek from the Academy of Music for the future.  They are said to be upset about the success and employment of the German opera singer with the Italian sounding name.
Announcement: New York Herald, 17 October 1864.
This is the first performance of Faust by the new company.  Faust was successful last season with Massimiliani in the lead role.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 17 October 1864.
Increased chorus, orchestra, and military band.
Announcement: New York Post, 17 October 1864.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 17 October 1864, 1.
The return of Kellogg will be a feast for the American public.
Review: New York Herald, 18 October 1864.

“Faust at the Academy. RENTREE OF MISS KELLOGG. At quite an early hour last night the placard, ‘Standing room only,’ announced to tardy opera goers that Faust had, as usual, attracted a crowded audience to the Academy of Music. It was, perhaps, the most brilliant house of the season.


The opera has been given so often here that it cannot be called a novelty, and thus any alteration in the cast naturally interested the audience. Miss Kellogg was happily the Marguerite, and it would be very difficult to imagine a change which would be an improvement in this respect. The young and favorite singer was received with a cordial welcome, and her exquisite personation of the Goethe-Gounod creation was listened to and admired with the same delightful attention as hitherto. After the third act she was the recipient of a floral tribute of such unusual size and beauty that there was a general flutter of curiosity to learn who the appreciative donor might be.


Lotti was the Faust of the evening and though the part is at times beyond his capabilities, he sang the romanza in the third act, and the love music with Marguerite very sweetly. Miss de Gebelle, as Siebel, sang the boards with the ease and grace of a veteran, though this was only her second appearance on the stage; but further performances are needed to fix definitely her status on the lyric stage. Susini, we are informed, took the part of Mephistopheles reluctantly and had an excuse for his reluctance; for the dramatic part is unsuited to his physical build, and the vocal requirements demand a greater flexibility of voice than he possesses. A second performance of the part will, however, show improvement. Bellini was in every way satisfactory as Valentine.


The Soldier’s Chorus, admirably sung, was, as usual, encored, and the orchestra, under Maretzek, all that could be desired.”
Review: New York Post, 18 October 1864.

“Faust and Kellogg. The opera of ‘Faust’ is as much a kaleidoscope to the eye as it is musically a stream of melody to the ear. By thus appealing to the two leading senses it is well calculated to dispel the languor of the one by the life it gives to the other. This twofold quality never fails to reward its performance with a crowded house, as was the case last evening at the Academy of Music. In the chain of artists, as it was cast on this occasion, there were some links not over bright or strong, and somewhat out of harmony with the strongly marked characters of the opera itself. Miss Kellogg, however, was the living, moving Margaret which the poetical eye loves to rest upon. In dress, in acting, in singing, and in general outline, the ideality of the character was fully preserved, and formed the bright central figure of the whole performance; while her reception by the audience was one which showed that her attributes and accomplishments were fully appreciated.


Lotti, well enough in his place, could not fairly be considered a ‘Faust’ of the imagination. It is difficult to incarnate Faust—this Hamlet of the German poet and the French musician—even when the materials are all quarried and ready to take shape. It is consequently, no discredit to Lotti if he dropped some of the threads in his carefully woven personation.


Nor is there much consanguinity between Susini and the evil-working Mephistopheles, either in action or voice; and in thus detaching the great basso from the terrible representative of Pandemonium we hope Signor Susini will feel complimented. In the part of the romantic Siebel Miss de Gebele—who, by the way, is a pupil of Antonio Barili—was again unfortunate enough to find a part not exactly suited to her, though even in this she showed the result of careful training. Bellini filled his subordinate part with his usual ability. The choruses and orchestra were all that could be desired.”
Review: Musical Review and World, 22 October 1864, 341.

“OPERA. The Italians at the Academy of Music have sung so far: Trovatore, Traviata, Lucia, Un Ballo, Lucrezia Borgia and Faust. The new tenor Signor Massimiliani has not much improved upon better acquaintance with his artistic means, they are certainly not very large.  The Prima Donna Mad. Corezzi-Zucchi [sic] thus far is the best acquisition, Mr. Maretzek has made.  She is a little cold, but always artistic and tasteful.  The new contralto Mdlle. de Gebele has a pretty voice, but very little else.  Her delivery is faulty and the registers of her voice have not yet been brought to any kind of blending.


In ‘Faust,’ Mdlle. Kellogg made her appearance and again charmed the audience by her truly poetical and finished performance of the role of ‘Marguerite.’ It was a wise, and we should think, a necessary step on the part of Mr. Maretzek, to reengage her. Signor Lotti sang ‘Faust.’ He has a pleasant voice, the higher it goes, the better it sounds. His delivery is good, and he is altogether an acceptable singer. But he might be a very favorite one, if he only knew a little more of the secret of accentuation, and expression. With all his means he makes but little effect. We hope, it is nothing but fright, which hitherto prevented his not showing any feeling, for if he really should back in this, all his voice and all his studies will not make him a great dramatic singer.


Mdlle. De Gebele was very indifferent in the part of ‘Sibel.’ And Signor Susini made a positive failure as ‘Mephisto.’ He generally seemed to be under the impression, that he had to act ‘Falstaff.’ His singing too was by no means artistic, should this once very good artist too fail in all operas, which are not Italian?


There was rather more dancing in the second act, than necessary, and we do not think, it enhanced the poetry of the first meeting between ‘Faust’ and ‘Marguerite.’”
Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 24 October 1864, 1.

    "We will be short concerning Faust. M. Susini was out of place in the role of Mephistophelesm, M. Lotti does not have in his power to sing Faust, and Mlle Kellogg,  always correct, is always cold.”