Maretzek Italian Opera: Norma – Carozzi-Zucchi Benefit

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
31 October 2014

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

27 Dec 1864, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Benefit for Carlotta Carozzi-Zucchi.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Bellini
Text Author: Romani
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Carlotta Carozzi-Zucchi (role: Norma);  Bernardo Massimiliani (role: Pollio);  Augustino Susini (role: Oroveso);  Catarina Morensi (role: Adalgisa)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 22 December 1864, 7.
Announcement: New York Herald, 25 December 1864, 4.
Announcement: New York Herald, 26 December 1864, 1.

“Madame Zucchi is entitled to a cordial and generous support on this occasion.  Her talent, her conscientiousness and her careful consideration of what is due to the public call for a special mark of the esteem in which she is held.  No singer who has occupied her position here has more entirely subordinated all consideration of ease and health to the public wishes.  Often, when suffering under severe indisposition, she has scorned to avail herself of the chance of escaping an evening’s labor, feeling that as long as she could sing at all she was bound to appear.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 26 December 1864, 7.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 26 December 1864.

“Academy of Music. Tomorrow, a benefit for Mme. Carozzi-Zucchi, ‘Norma.’”

Announcement: New York Herald, 27 December 1864, 4.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 27 December 1864, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 27 December 1864.

“Carozzi-Zucchi an artiste who came to us unknown and unheralded, and at once took the highest position as a lyric actress, takes her first benefit in this country. She will appear as Norma, a character for which her noble style of acting, her fine voice and declamatory method, peculiarly fit her. [Gives cast list]—and a finer cast than this not even the composer could desire. Zucchi should have to-night, from our musical public, a hearty recognition of her fine talents and of the unvarying punctuality with which she has always fulfilled her engagements. In this point she resembles LaGrange, who never disappointed the public.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 27 December 1864, 5.

“To-night (Tuesday) is set apart for the benefit of Mad. Zucchi. . . . [She] is recognized as an artist of the first rank.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 27 December 1864, 7.
Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 27 December 1864.

Predicts a triumph for Carozzi-Zucchi.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 27 December 1864, 1.

Part of larger article on opera at the Academy of Music. “Tonight, the benefit for Mme Carozzi-Zucchi.”

Review: New York Herald, 28 December 1864, 4.

Bellini’s great and favorite opera of Norma was given at the Academy last night for the benefit of Madame Zucchi.  The occasion was favored by just such a large and fashionable attendance as we expected and as Mad. Zucchi’s merits deserve.  When we say that her reception was an ovation from beginning to end, we hardly exaggerate the feeling manifested, not only in repeated applause, but in the entire appreciation of her impersonation of the part in action, look, and faithful rendering of the music.  Her delineation of the passions which enter into the character and story of the wronged and still womanly Druidess were exceedingly fine, reminding us in many passages of Rachel translating the passions of human nature into lyric language.  In the second and third acts her acting was superb, the incidents calling forth all the dramatic power which she so eminently possesses, and which she has never displayed so effectively as she did last night.  The Norma of Zucchi has, we think, rarely been excelled on our stage.  It is the best role in which she has yet appeared; better than her Paulina or Lucrezia, admirably as she has impersonated these two parts, which equally with Norma, afford an opportunity for the display of those qualities which mark her excellence as an actress.  There was little fault to find with the manner in which the opera was produced.  Massimiliani sang remarkably well.  Susini, as Grovese, was in a part that suited his ponderous voice, and he was accordingly felicitous.  All the favorite morceaux of the opera were encored, and Mme. Zucchi was repeatedly called out, on each occasion to become the recipient of some floral tribute, one of which—a beautiful wreath—was presented to her in the first act, and another—a superb basket of flowers—was tendered to her after the delicious rendition of the duet in the third act, and graciously accepted amid a storm of applause.  This is the first time that Mme. Zucchi sang Norma in this country, and it is not surprising that she was a little nervous in the first act, but the warmth of her reception and the confidence in her own powers soon dispelled all this, and as the opera proceeded her success was insured.  We are glad to see that Mr. Maretzek has put Norma on the bills again for Friday night, the last of the season—and, we add, really the last.  For there will be no matinee on Saturday, as the company leave for Boston early that morning.  On Friday night the season positively closes, and we regret it.”

Review: New York Post, 28 December 1864.

“The Opera. As Norma last night Carozzi-Zucchi won the highest and most complete of her American triumphs. A prolonged diminuendo note of exquisite beauty in her opening recitative first aroused the enthusiasm of the audience, while her magnificent singing and acting in the subsequent scenes of the opera fully maintained it. With a full recollection of Grisi and other great artists, we can unhesitatingly say that a greater personation of Norma than that of Zucchi has never been seen at our Academy of Music.

            The prima donna was admirably supported. Morensi’s full voice harmonized well with Zucchi’s noble organ; Massimiliani sang the music of Pollio with entire acceptation, and Susini, as Oroveso, had a part well suited to his majestic style. The whole performance was one which opera-goers will delight to recall as among their most thrilling musical memories.”

Review: New-York Times, 28 December 1864, 5.

“Mme.Carozzi Zucchi took her benefit here last night. The distribution was extremely good, and the performance excited the enthusiasm of the audience.  Mme. Carozzi’s dramatic abilities are displayed to great advantage in the role of the Druidess.  The many declamatory passages were rendered with an intensity that could hardly be excelled.  The opening recitative has rarely been given with such power of voice and authority of style.  We were not so well pleased with the Casta Diva, but the subsequent quick movement was excellent.  Signor Massimiliani is certainly one of the best Pollio’s we have ever had here.  Of Mlle. Morensi as Adalgisa, and Signor Susini as Oroveso, it is unnecessary to speak.  They have sung the parts previously, and were in ordinary voice last night.  The opera, as we have before remarked, was received with great favor, and had the weather been fine, the house would undoubtedly have been crowded.”

Review: New-York Times, 30 December 1864, 4.

“It was as the Druidess that Mad. Zucchi made, on Tuesday last, her greatest success.  The dramatic grandeur of her rendering of this part has rarely been equaled, and vocally, too, the largeness of her declamation places it among the most memorable performances we have ever had in this city.”

Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 02 January 1865.

    "The past week was almost entirely dedicated by M. Maretzek to benefits. . . . [the one] given for Mme Zucchi obtained an outstanding success. Not since Grisi has one seen as beautiful a Norma as hers . . . . [remainder of article unreadable]"