Maretzek Italian Opera: Fra Diavolo

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Carl Bergmann

Price: $2.50 loges; $2 parquet and balcony; $.75 standing room and 2nd gallery

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
16 February 2012

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

23 Dec 1864, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Fra Diavolo, ou L’hôtellerie de Terracine Fra Diavolo, or The Inn of Terracina
Composer(s): Auber
Text Author: Scribe
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Amati Dubreuil (role: Beppo);  Domenico Lorini (role: Lorenzo);  Catarina Morensi (role: Pamela);  Clara Louise Kellogg (role: Zerlina);  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Lord Rochbourg);  Mlle. Ernestine;  Mlle. [dancer] Auriol;  Guglielmo Lotti (role: Fra Diavolo);  Joseph Weinlich (role: Giacomo)


Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 16 December 1864.
Announcement: New York Herald, 22 December 1864, 4.
Announcement: New-York Times, 22 December 1864, 4.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 23 December 1864, 7.
Announcement: New-York Times, 23 December 1864, 6.

Fra Diavolo will be given for the second time.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 23 December 1864.

“Tonight, the second performance of Fra Diavolo, which achieved great success the night before last. We will report on the performance on Monday, as usual.”

Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 23 December 1864.

“The second performance of ‘Fra Diavolo’ will take place tonight in the Academy of Music. In yesterday’s report of its first performance, we neglected to mention anything about the opera’s accoutrements: the costumes and sets are new and beautiful. The covered veranda entwined by grape vines in the first act, and the landscape with the narrow pass out of the Abruzzo were painted artfully and elegantly. The costumes are almost all new and appropriate.”

Review: New York Herald, 24 December 1864, 4.

“The second presentation of Fra Diavolo drew a fashionable but not very crowded house last night.  Charming as is the music of this opera, it is of too light a character to prove very attractive to audiences which have shown so decided a preference for works of a higher dramatic stamp.  The cast, too, is not in all respects satisfactory.  Miss Kellogg is a very acceptable Zerlina, she acts and sings the role well when she does not overlay it with a redundant fioriture, a fault common to her, but she does not come up to the standard of excellence in the parts with which Miss Louisa Pyne made us familiar some ten or eleven years ago.  We cannot forget the delicious manner in which its melodies were rendered by the pure, round, fresh voice of that delightful singer.  Her Zerlina was a part to be remembered.  It is one of these associations of the memory which singers do not often afford us now a days. The Fra Diavolo of Lotti is a very weak performance at best, but it was additionally diluted last evening by an indisposition which destroyed whatever vitality he imparted to it on the first night.  The brigand is one of those characters that depends as much upon acting as singing for its effect.  Unhappily Signor Lotti seems to be unconscious of this fact.  A pleasant contrast to his inanity was the manner in which the parts of Boppo and Giacomo were played by Dubreuil and Weinlich.  The composer, in his new version of the opera, has given a prominence to these two characters which affords room for the display of all that stage experience which these artists possess.  Those who have traveled in Italy must have been struck by the closeness with which the peculiarities of low Italian life, with its swagger and its coarse humor, were represented by them.  They impart a zest to the work which proves the correctness of the composer’s judgment in giving greater strength to the two characters.  Neither Morensi nor Lorini were up to the mark in their roles.  The former sang carelessly, and the latter had an extinction of voice, which was apologized for.  Altogether, the representations could not be called an improvement on that of the first night.”

Review: New York Post, 24 December 1864.

“’Fra Diavolo’ was repeated last evening at the Academy of Music, and was performed with greater care and facility than on its first night.  Miss Kellogg and Bellini were again the chief attractions, though Dubreuil, as the lively and really attractive robber, shared in the applause.  The notable deficiency in the part of ‘Fra Diavolo’ excited, however, much unfavorable comment.  There are other tenors in New York who could play and sing Auber’s fascinating brigand much better; among them may be mentioned Errani, a singer whom, in the present deficiency of tenors, our public would be glad to hear again on the lyric stage.”

Review: New-York Times, 24 December 1864, 4.

“The second performance of ‘Fra Diavolo’ last evening attracted an exceedingly brilliant audience.  Auber’s light and charming music, his easy command and use of complex dramatic situations,  and the close, short, spirited way in which he deals with the chorus—these are points that must speedily impress the public, and, in fact, have already done so.  Although the applause last night missed several of the best numbers, it yet graced others that were deserving of it.  Miss Kellogg sang deliciously. The character of Zerlina could not be better rendered by any artist on this side of the Atlantic.  Signor Lotti dazzled his admirers with a new costume, and a more becoming and appropriate one than that which he wore on Wednesday night.  He was much easier in the music, and in the terzetto of the first act especially was excellent.  Signor Bellini was, as heretofore, admirable.  He has made a new part.  The remaining characters, with the exception of Lorenzo by Signor Lorini, who was indisposed, were interpreted well, and the chorus and orchestra were very good.”