Maretzek Italian Opera: Don Giovanni

Event Information

Venue(s):
Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Conductor(s):
Max Maretzek

Event Type:
Choral, Opera

Record Information

Status:
Published

Last Updated:
19 February 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

02 Nov 1864, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Ernestine and Auriol perform “the incidental menuet.” The Arion Society performs with the regular chorus in the Grand Finale of the first act.

Mozart: Don Giovanni
Includes: “Incidental menuet” (Ernestine, Auriol)

Performers and/or Works Performed

1)
aka Dissoluto punito, Il; ossia Il Don Giovanni Libertine Punished, The; or Don Giovanni
Composer(s): Mozart
Text Author: da Ponte
Participants:  Arion Männergesangverein;  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Don Giovanni);  Carlotta Carozzi-Zucchi (role: Donna Anna);  Mlle. Ernestine;  Guglielmo Lotti (role: Ottavio);  Mlle. [dancer] Auriol;  Joseph Weinlich (role: The Commandature);  Amati Dubreuil (role: Masetto);  Augustino Susini (role: Leporello);  Catarina Morensi (role: Elvira);  Clara Louise Kellogg (role: Zerlina)
2)
aka incidental minuet
Composer(s): Mozart

Citations

1)
Announcement: New York Post, 25 September 1864.
Notes new artists in the Italian opera co., Mrs. Motte, Jennie van Zandt, Frida de Gebele. Also lists cast for forthcoming production of Il Trovatore. Lotti is the new 2nd tenor.
2)
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 October 1864.

3)
Announcement: New York Herald, 29 October 1864.

4)
Announcement: New-York Times, 31 October 1864, 4.
“[A]n unusually good cast, especially in the female department.”
5)
Advertisement: New York Herald, 02 November 1864.
The Arion Society will sing the finale of the first act with the regular chorus, making up the largest choral force that has ever appeared in this opera.
6)
Advertisement: New-York Times, 02 November 1864, 7.
Full cast list.  “Joint Appearance of the Three Prime Donne, Carozzi-Zucchi, Kellogg, Morensi.”
7)
Announcement: New-York Times, 02 November 1864, 5.
“[A] cast of unusual strength.”
8)
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 02 November 1864.

9)
Review: New York Post, 03 November 1864.
“Last evening was the seventh night of the fall season—the last but one—and “Don Giovanni” was given to as full a house as we have seen this season. In fact, the Academy was crammed from top to bottom, and many were unable to get seats or standing room. The opera was very finely rendered, but the audience being composed largely of strangers, was not so warn and enthusiastic as usual. Miss Kellogg, however, was rapturously encored in her closing aria, and the beautiful trio of the first act, sung by Carozzi, Morensi and Lotti, was also called for a second time.”
Assesses the season about to close, giving praise to the manager, Glover, and to the conductor for the improvements in the orchestra and choruses, and for the leading singers, especially Carozzi-Zucchi as Paolina in Poliuto, and Kellogg for many roles, most notably Marguerite in Faust.

10)
Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 03 November 1864.
Well-attended performance.  Very good cast.  With her strong and pleasant voice, Carozzi was convincing in the heaviest role among the three prima donne.  Signorina Morensi amused the audience a couple of times with some early entrances, but in general she was not expected to do as well as she did.  The Zerlina as sung by Ms. Kellogg has been recognized by audiences and critics as one of her best performances.  Susini, who was in good voice for a change, Lotti, and Bellini all satisfied in their roles.  Only some members of the Arion Society were present, but they performed well nevertheless in the ‘Freiheitschor.’
11)
Review: New-York Times, 07 November 1864.
….Since we’re going on about Don Giovanni, we’ll say a few words about Wednesday evening’s performance. Zerlina is without contradiction Mlle Kellogg’s best role. She’s always a bit affected in it, ingenuous grace not being in her nature, but she’s at least very acceptable, and she sings the delightful airs of the first and second acts quite well, as they don’t demand grand manners. Mlle Morensi isn’t a bad Elvira; but just as we verify her progress, so she allows us to point out her inaccuracies, or if she prefers, her tendencies to be out of tune. As for Mme Carozzi-Zucchi, she had accepted the role that’s at once the most difficult and most ungrateful one in the whole repertory, that of Donna Anna. She phrased the recitatives and sang the aria of the first act admirably. It’s there that opera-lovers are able to judge her talent at the last resort, but this recitative and this aria don’t captivate the public, and Mme Zucchi wasn’t fully appreciated except by a small number of connoisseurs.
M. Bellini has neither the graceful bearing nor the elegance necessary for a Don Juan. It’s true that the role is overwhelming. We also address to him the same reproach as to Mlle Morensi, for he doesn’t always sing accurately. M. Susini plays Leporello quite well, M. Lotti is a satisfactory Octavio, and M. Dubreuil, in the background role of Mazetto [sic], makes us notice a perceptive talent as a comedian and a great understanding of the stage. We also repair an omission in adding that he acted and sang perfectly in a secondary role in Il Ballo in Maschera [sic].
12)
Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 07 November 1864, 1.

      "Since we're going on about Don Giovanni, we'll say a few words about Wednesday evening's performance. Zerlina is without contradiction Mlle Kellogg's best role. She's always a bit affected in it, ingenuous grace not being in her nature, but she's at least very acceptable, and she sings the delightful airs of the first and second acts quite well, as they don't demand grand manners. Mlle Morensi isn't a bad Elvira; but just as we verify her progress, so she allows us to raise her inaccuracies, or if she prefers, her tendencies to be out of tune. As for Mme Carozzi-Zucchi, she had accepted the role that's at once the most difficult and most ungrateful one in the whole repertory, that of Donna Anna. She phrased the recittives and sang the air of the first act admirably. It's there that opera-lovers are able to judge her talent at the last resort, but this recitative and this air don't captivate the public, and Mme Zucchi wasn't fully appreciated except by a small number of connoisseurs.

     M. Bellini has niether the graceful bearing nore the elegance necessary for a Don Juan. It's true that the role is overwhelming. We also address to him the same reproach as to Mlle Morensi, for he doesn't always sing accurately. M. Susini plays Leporello quite well, M. Lotti is a satisfactory Octavio, and M. Dubreuil, in the background role of Mazetto [sic], makes us notice a perceptive talent as a comedian and a great understanding of the stage."

 

13)
Review: New-York Times, 08 November 1864, 2.
The performance of “Don Giovanni” Wednesday night, was, in all respects, excellent. It is customary to hastily present this work at the end of each season, and the result is generally such as to make us lament that the custom prevails—to exclaim, with the Prince of Denmark, “’tis a custom more honored in the breach than the observance.” With peculiar gratification, therefore, we note Mr. Maretzek’s praiseworthy effort to reverse this bad habit of the past. Without any unnecessary amount of preliminary puffing, he has given us one of the best performances of Mozart’s chef d’œvres [sic] we have had at the Academy for many years. The orchestra was unusually clean and efficient, and the chorus—what little it had to do—was prompt and vigorous. The Liberty exclamation at the end of the first act was strong enough to create a revolution—but it failed to do so. The distribution was unusually strong. Mme. Zucchi sang with spirit and acted finely. The part of Donna Anna became almost interesting in her hands. Miss Kellogg was, as heretofore, a charming Zerlina, and Mdlle. Morensi gave unusual importance to the part of Donna Elvira. Signor Bellini and Signor Susini were good in their respective rôles—both gentlemen acting with unusual spirit. Signor Lotti was not in voice, but sang neatly and with good taste. Signor Dubreul [sic] contributed to the completeness of the caste by an amusing performance of Masetto.

14)
Review: Musical Review and World, 19 November 1864, 374.
 “At every new performance of ‘Don Giovanni,’ we can not help thinking, that after all, those Italians who sang this opera in Prague (Oct. 29th, 1787), and for whom it was written, must have been very different beings from our modern Italian singers. We are told, that they took hold of their roles with great enthusiasm, and that by their ardor and anxiety to do justice to them, they contributed much to the success of the opera. We have never found much of that ardor and anxiety in our modern singers; on the contrary, they seem to look up on their parts in this opera as a kind of necessary evil, an unavoidable yearly tribute to “the classics,” which they pay in about the same manner, as some of our patriots pay their taxes. They seem to have no enthusiasm for this music, they evidently can not feel inspired by it, for they have no appreciation, in fact no understanding of the purity and beauty of the form in which it moves. “Don Giovanni” to them is like a beautiful lifeless statue. They forget that all statues are lifeless, and that it depends entirely upon the beholder, whether they shall have life or not. A great many people will look upon one of Canova’s masterworks, and not feeling anything. Well, we should think, the fault is not exactly Canova’s.
Our present remarks apply of course not to all the Italian singers, but they will certainly hold good with most of them; and the last performance of ‘Don Giovanni,’ by the Italians at the Academy of Music, was also not very apt to alter our opinion in this matter.  Even Mdlle. Kellogg, who is generally so correct and thus has a fine appreciation of tact, gave us but a disfigured view of the character of ‘Zerlina.’  If the latter is made to appear too coquettish, she becomes a very unpleasant person to look upon.”