Maretzek Italian Opera: Fra Diavolo – Kellogg Benefit

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Carl Bergmann

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
25 February 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

28 Dec 1864, Evening

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


Advertisement: New York Herald, 22 December 1864, 7.
Announcement: New York Post, 27 December 1864.
Announcement: New-York Times, 27 December 1864, 5.

“Kellogg will also be the recipient of a benefit—the first she has ever had in this city.”

Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 27 December 1864, 1.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 December 1864.
Announcement: New York Post, 28 December 1864.
Announcement: New-York Times, 28 December 1864, 5.

“As a compliment to the best artist America has yet produced, we trust the house will be filled to its greatest capacity.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 28 December 1864, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 29 December 1864, 4.

“The fourth performance of Fra Diavolo drew a large audience last night.  The occasion was the benefit of Miss Kellogg, and her friends were present in considerable numbers.  The opera was given with the usual cast, and with little variation from the manner in which it has been previously rendered.  Miss Kellogg was the same graceful Zerlina in costume and action.  The latter, perhaps, having in many instances a little more stage effect than fine touches of nature in it.  With the exception of a superfluous ornamentation in some passages, she sang the music well.  The audience was friendly and rather enthusiastic.  At the close of the second act Mr. Maretzek, in a brief speech, presented the beneficiary with a costly bracelet set in brilliants and a diamond ring, the gift of some of her admirers.  The other parts were sung in the usual manner, Lotti doing the best he could with his limited vocal power, and Dubreuil and Weinlich giving all their excellent comic interpretation to the parts of the two brigands.” 

Review: New York Post, 29 December 1864.

“Miss Kellogg’s Benefit. The present operatic season has been the most brilliant of Miss Kellogg’s public career. Called to join the company to fill deficiencies which the manager discovered to exist in it, she was welcomed by the public as an old favorite. But soon it was observed that there was a marked improvement in the young prima donna. Not only was her acting easier and her command of the stage greater, but her voice has palpably increased in power. At the commencement of Miss Kellogg’s operatic career many of her best friends doubted whether her physical strength and vocal force would enable her to ever take high rank as a prima donna. Her performances this season, however, dispel all such fears. As Linda, Marie, Marguerite, and the Zerlinas of Mozart and Auber, Miss Kellogg has this year surpassed all her former efforts.

            The benefit of the young lady last night was well attended, and ‘Fra Diavolo’ was given with applause, the entire performance being very good, excepting in the tenor music of the last two acts. After the second act Miss Kellogg was called before the curtain, where Maretzek presented to her, in behalf of the stockholders, a subperb gold bracelet studded with diamonds. A diamond ring was attached to it, and on a silver plate on the case was the name of the recipient. Maretzek in a very brief speech told the fair beneficiary that the gift was intended by the stockholders to testify their appreciation of her as an artist and a lady.”

Review: New-York Times, 29 December 1864, 4.

“Miss Kellogg was complimented last evening by one of the finest ‘houses’ that has yet attended the performance of ‘Fra Diavolo.’ The lady, on her entrance and subsequently, was received with enthusiastic applause. Benefits are the proper occasions for this display of heartiness, and toward Miss Kellogg there is but one sentiment. It found vent in every possible manner. The most accomplished artist America has yet produced, Miss Kellogg is also the most willing, obliging, and conscientious. We rejoice to find that her merits are so thoroughly appreciated by the public.

             Of the performance of the opera it is unnecessary to speak.  The work is now in the prime of its run, and everything goes smoothly.  Not everything, perhaps, for last night a chorus singer stood a little out of the line, and the curtain descended on his helmet, which, for him was anything but smooth. It was indeed a little rough, and he probably thought so.”

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

"The past week was consecrated almost entirely to benefits by M. Maretzek. All produced good results, above all that of the French Charitable Society. They have announced the receipts in this newspaper, and they are eloquent enough to not need comment. Let's add that that those who had opened their purses for the poor had no reason to regret doing so. We have declared what we thought about the performance of Fra Diavolo, an we don't have to go back there. But we can say that the artists presented by M. Maretzek never sang Auber's opera better. Mlles Kellogg and Morensi and M. Bellini especially pleased the audience. There wasn't the slightest misunderstanding in the distribution of tickets or the placement of the spectators, as one has sometimes had reason to regret. The World, the Daily News and many of our American colleagues have testified to the success of the performance, and the first of those journals, in speaking of the audience, described it in these terms: 'We saw the elite of New York's French society, and we were able to admire the good taste of their apparel. After Paris, no city could have mounted such a brilliant French soiree....'"