Maretzek Italian Opera: Robert le Diable

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Carl Bergmann

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
20 April 2012

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

03 Nov 1865, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Robert the devil; Robert der Teufel
Composer(s): Meyerbeer
Text Author: Scribe, Delavigne
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Domenico Lorini (role: Raimbaut);  Antonietta Brignoli-Ortolani (role: The Princess);  Carlotta Carozzi-Zucchi (role: Agnes);  Ettore Irfre (role: Robert);  Giuseppe B. [basso] Antonucci (role: Bertram)


Advertisement: New-York Times, 30 October 1865, 7.

“[A] grand distribution.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 01 November 1865, 3.

Announcement: New-York Times, 02 November 1865, 4.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 02 November 1865, 6.

Review: New-York Times, 04 November 1865, 6.

“Amusements. Academy of Music.—The revival of a great work like ‘Robert le Diable’ has fortunately such significance that it commands at once the attention of the public. The attendance last night was in consequence all that could be desired. Mr. Maretzek's cast of this fine opera was exceedingly good. It introduced Mme. Zucchi, Mme. Ortolani, Signor Irfre and Signor Antonucci in the principal parts. These artists have rarely been heard to greater advantage. The orchestra, under Mr. Bergmann, was very good. The acceptance of the work was so favorable that many pieces were encored, and the representation extended almost to midnight.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 04 November 1865.

“Meyerbeer’s grand ever fresh opera of Roberto il Diavolo was performed last night to a large and fashionable audience, in excellent style.”

Review: New-York Times, 06 November 1865, 4.

Amusements. “Meyerbeer’s opera of ‘Robert le Diable,’ produced successfully at the Academy of Music on Friday evening, and to one of the most brilliant audiences of the season, will be repeated to-night for the second and ‘last’ time.”

Review: Courrier des √Čtats-Unis, 06 November 1865.

“ . . . . Friday, Robert le Diable attracted an enormous crowd. It isn’t that Meyerbeer’s opera was performed as desired; even taking into account certain production difficulties, which it’s impossible to surmount in New York, it seems to us that the work could have been done better. The role of Robert is overwhelming for M. Irfre, who is a charming light tenor, but from whom they shouldn’t demand efforts beyond his abilities. Why not have consigned the role of Robert to M. Massimiliani, for example, and given M. Irfre that of Raimbaud? The comic duet in the second act wouldn’t have been as deplorably flayed as it was by M. Lorini. Never, but never, has Raimbaud been sung or acted as execrably as by the abovementioned M. Lorini: at Carpentras, at Brives la Gaillarde, an indignant public would have covered his out-of-tune and irritating voice with hisses, and would have energetically demanded that he wouldn’t be made to reappear on the stage.

            M. Antonucci wasn’t bad in the role of Bertram, although he lacks breadth of action and of voice. Mme Carozzi-Zucchi was a charming and affecting Alice, and Mme Ortolani Brignoli sang the great aria Grâce to perfection. We won’t say anything about the ballet, and for good reason: amusements are things on which you have to reserve condemnation in New York.”

Review: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 18 November 1865, 270.

[First part of the review is missing.]  "It is certainly more difficult to sing “sharp” French rhythms compared to the Italian cantilena.  Mme. Zucchi as “Alice” [sic] had some nice moments, yet the role did not match her personality at all.  In parts, the naiveté of the character she portrayed came across as comical.  Mr. Antonucci as “Bertram” did not excite either.  The opera, in general, had some well sung parts; however, the highlights were missing.  We rarely have seen such a tamed “devil.”