Maretzek Italian Opera: La forza del destino

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Carl Bergmann

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
28 July 2012

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

08 Mar 1865, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Penultimate performance.

Performers and/or Works Performed


Article: New York Herald, 06 March 1865.

     Verdi’s...chef d’oeuvre...with all its delicious music, splendid scenery and striking dramatic incidents will be given . . .  Although this fine work has been produced only three or four times, its success is already firmly established, and it will, no doubt, remain a standard favorite. A great deal of its success is due to the excellent and costly manner in which Mr. Maretzek has put it on the stage. The opera demands for its proper interpretation a complete and well balanced orchestra—for the instrumentation is not the least meritorious part of the composition—a full chorus and artistic scenery, all of which are furnished by the liberality and good judgment of Mr. Maretzek in a way to leave no cause for complaint.”

Announcement: New York Post, 06 March 1865.

Announcement: New York Herald, 08 March 1865, 4.

Article: New York Herald, 08 March 1865.

     “The success of this opera has been, we need hardly say, most decided, as the crowded houses and increasing enthusiasm amply testified upon every occasion when it was given. We have already pronounced our judgment upon La Forza as one of this eminent maestro’s very best works. The combinations of brilliant music, whether we seek for it in the choruses, the arias or the delightful duets, which, interspersed here and there, remind us so much of what Verdi has accomplished in his earlier compositions, together with the scenic effects, which, as presented at the Academy, are particularly fine, render the opera so attractive that we are not surprised at the great success it has achieved here as well as in those European capitals where it has already been sung. Next to St. Petersburg and Madrid, New York is the first city in which this work has been introduced. To the enterprise of Mr. Maretzek we are indebted for the fact that we have got ahead of both Paris and London in its presentation. In 1862, when the opera was about to be produced in St. Petersburg, Mr. Maretzek applied to Verdi for the score, in order that he might produce it as soon as possible in this country. The following interesting communication from Verdi to his publisher, Ricordi, will explain how we happen to anticipate the two great capitals of Western Europe in the production of La Forza del Destino.

London, May 3, 1862
     Dear Ricordi—Mr. Maretzek will hand you this letter. He desires to make arrangements with you for the early production of Forza del Destino. I have assured him that a few days after its representation in St. Petersburg you will have the original score. It depends now on you to decide how long it will take you to forward it to America, to have it reproduced at the following carnival. In St. Petersburg it will be given about the end of November or in December next. He (Mr. Maretzek) desires also the cantata which I wrote for the Exposition in London. Ever yours,
                            G. VERDI

     Thus, Maretzek secured this great work for presentation in this country, which, with his present complete company he has been able to produce so satisfactorily.”         

Advertisement: New-York Times, 08 March 1865.

Review: New York Herald, 09 March 1865, 4.

     “There was a very good house at the Academy last night  . . . The opera was very well sung. Zucchi and Massimiliani were in excellent voice, and received a due measure of applause. The duo in the third act, the rataplan and the opening chorus of the fourth act, were very warmly applauded. This delightful opera, which has gained so much popular favor, will be given only once more . . .”

Review: New-York Times, 09 March 1865, 5.

     “The fifth performance . . . attracted an exceedingly good house last evening, notwithstanding the filthy condition of the streets and the abominable state of the weather. The artists, by that strange but happy coincidence which always signals a bad night, sang with unusual spirit, and were all in excellent condition. . . . The expense and care that have been bestowed on this work would justify a run of an entire season in any European capital.”