Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
20 October 2011
“Verdi’s fine opera of Ernani was produced at the Academy of Music last evening with a very strong cast, to a large and fashionable audience. Ernani is preeminently a favorite with the New York public, and justly so, for besides abounding in attractive melodies, it is very dramatic, and contains much concerted music equal to the finest of Verdi’s inspirations.
Elvira’s music is well adapted to Mlle Carozzi Zucchi’s style and voice, it is passionate and most of it lies in the best and most reining part of her voice. The faults which in music of a quieter character, are too clearly observable in this almost hidden, or all events they are not obtrusive. We must award to her much praise for her dramatic conception of the character, and for her forcible and spirited singing. Her Aria Ernani involami was brilliantly and effectively rendered.
Signor Macaferri [sic] is a tenor robusto of the most robustious kind. He is by no means a refined singer; we find but little of the delicate shadings of feeling and expression which we look for in thoroughly educated arts, but in passages of great force, especially in the ensemble pieces, his voice is grandly effective, equal to any of its class that we ever heard. Much of the brilliant success of these pieces was due to his powerful and effective organ.
King Carlos found a very able representative in Signor Bellini. His voice was in excellent order, and its rich, full tones gave ample expression and effect to the charming music composing his rôle. But one false intonation can be scored against him throughout the evening.
We scarcely know to what to attribute the rapid decadence of Signor Susini’s voice, once so pure and large. But little dependence can be placed on it now. At times there are flashes of the old fire, but as a general thing it is husky, uncertain and untrue. From some cause all the fibers of the throat sound relaxed or overexcited, and uncontrollable both as to pitch and volume. He sang his beautiful Aria, ‘Infelice,’ with unexceptional taste, and acted his part in a grave, dignified, yet impassioned manner.
The leading charm of the opera is, as we have said, the concerted or ensemble pieces. We have rarely heard these more brilliantly or effectively sung. The trio in the first act, previous to the entrance of Silva, was powerful and dramatic in the highest degree, and aroused the enthusiasm of the audience. Equally excellent was the duo between Elvira and Ernani, Ah! morir potessi adesso [sic], and the trio which follows—No, vendetta piu tremando [sic], in the second act The finale to the third act, always effective, from the extraordinary sonority which Verdi has evolved from his vocal and instrumental combinations, was on the occasion finely rendered. The parts were well balanced, and all seemed to strive earnestly to work out the effect intended; the appreciation was instantaneous and unanimous. It was imperatively rendered.The performance, as a whole, was highly satisfactory; the chorus was well trained, the band ably directed and the audience seemed to be thoroughly satisfied, calling the principal artists out after each set.”