Maretzek Italian Opera: Fra Diavolo – French Benevolent Society Benefit

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Carl Bergmann

Price: $2.50 loge; $2, parquet and balcony; .75 2nd balcony and gallery

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
23 June 2012

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

29 Dec 1864, Evening

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


Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 21 December 1864.

Lists places where tickets can be purchased, mostly French names and locations below Canal St.

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

Not only will our people pay a sacred debt to our less fortunate compatriots, but again it will have the occasion to celebrate our national composer, M. Auber, who is one of the great glories of modern France.

Advertisement: New York Herald, 25 December 1864, 7.
Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 27 December 1864, 1.

Once more they urge the French community to purchase tickets, insisting that this performance is the most important source of income for this institution.  They even include a lengthy meteorological prediction for the day of performance.

Announcement: Courrier des États-Unis, 28 December 1864.
Announcement: New York Herald, 29 December 1864, 4.

“[Fra Diavolo] will be repeated tonight for the benefit of La Societe Francaise de Bienfaissance, a most worthy association, established for the succor of the poor, the old, and the infirm of our French citizens, and devoted in an especial manner to assist the widows and orphans whose misfortunes have been augmented by the war. It is unnecessary to say that for such a cause the patronage of the public will be well bestowed. We therefore expect to see the Academy crowded to-night.”

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

“The performances are in aid of the excellent charity, the ‘French Benevolent Society.’”

Review: New York Herald, 30 December 1864, 4.

Fra Diavolo was given last night for the benefit of la Societe Francaise de Bienfaisance, and must have realized a very considerable sum for that worthy institution.  The house was one of the largest of the season.  The audience was largely composed of our French citizens, and the great work of Auber appeared to be thoroughly relished.  The cast was the same as before, and the performance differed nothing from previous representations.”

: Courrier des États-Unis, 02 January 1865.

    "[The benefit] for the French Benevolent Society produced handsome results.  They mentioned the sum of the receipts in this journal, and it's eloquent enought not to need commentary. . . .  We've declared what we think of the execution of Fra Diavolo, and we don't have to revisit that. But we can say that never have M. Maretzek's artists sung Auber's opera better. Mlles Kellogg and Morensi and M. Bellini especially pleased the audience. There wasn't the least mishandling of the ticket distribution or the placement of spectators, as one has to sometimes regret. The World and the Daily News and other of our American colleagues have testified to the success of the performance, and the first of these journals, in speaking about the attendance, explained it in these terms: 'We saw the elite of French society in New York, and we have to admire the good taste of the outfits. After Paris, no citty could have shown us as brilliant an assemblage of French people . . . .'  So, a complete success, in every way."