Maretzek Italian Opera: Crispino e la comare

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Angelo Torriani

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
4 April 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

27 Nov 1865, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New York Post, 24 November 1865.

Announcement: New-York Times, 25 November 1865, 5.

“The favorite opera of the season . . . will be given the last time."

Advertisement: New-York Times, 25 November 1865, 7.

Announcement: New York Post, 27 November 1865.

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 November 1865.

: Strong, George Templeton. New-York Historical Society. The Diaries of George Templeton Strong, 1863-1869: Musical Excerpts from the MSs, transcribed by Mary Simonson. ed. by Christopher Bruhn., 27 November 1865.

“[Heard] Crispino et la Comare at Acad. of Music.  Brilliant house and asphyxiating typhoidal atmosphere.  The music is light and pretty—better than Verdi, a great deal.  A weak imitation of The Barber.  But the work as a whole—music, plot, stage play, and tomfooleries that would not be tolerated for an instant at Wallack’s or the Olympic—childish scenic effects, text utterly unintelligible to at least 3/5ths of the audience—was a silly barbaric performance, discreditable to the artistic cause of the community.  Not worse however than nine tenths of our operas—rather better than most of our idiotic exhibitions.”

Review: New-York Times, 28 November 1865, 4.

Academy of Music.—The announcement that the last performance of ‘Crispino e la Comare’ would take place last night, filled the Academy of Music in such a degree that even ‘standing room only’ could not be had, and many of those who had not procured their tickets in time had to wend their way back to their homes. It is unnecessary to mention again the merits of the singers, and we may be allowed to state only that the performance elicited the most genuine and best deserved applause.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 28 November 1865, 4.

“The opera of ‘Crispino e la Comare’ was given for the fifth or sixth last time last evening, the actual last night being entirely dependent upon the will of the public. The management fixed the final performance some weeks ago, but the increasing desire to hear the opera, the constant demand for seats compelled the reproduction of ‘Crispino’ over and over again. This accounts for the several past ‘last nights,’ and it is possible that the house last evening will have to be held responsible for yet another final performance, for with every seat filled, there were hundreds of persons in the lobbies and in the alley ways, who could not be accommodated with seats of any kind.  No comic opera within our recollection has made a hit so instantaneous and so lasting.  It is, to be sure, most admirably performed; better, indeed, as a whole, principals, chorus and orchestra, than any opera put on the stage for some years past. But beside this, the plot is happily conceived, and the music is not only full of character, but it has all the elements of genuine humor, so that the fun is catching, and the laughter is as hearty and genuine as we hear as a side-splitting farce, or at the quaint humor of the minstrels. The popularity of ‘Crispino e la Comare’ is a fact, spring [sic] from whatever cause it may, and it has proved an unfailing gold mine to the management.

          The performance was admirable, as usual, and the enthusiasm of the audience was greater than upon any previous occasion, all that could be repeated being encored with that overwhelming applause which admits no denial.”