Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
26 March 2014
“There will be no Matinee Tomorrow (Saturday).”
“The ‘Ballo in Maschera’ was sung last night under special difficulties. Mazzoleni opened very well, but his voice gave way in the third act, and almost deserted him. Bellini was also unwell yet sang fairly; nor was Zucchi up to her highest mark. The artists, however, offered no apology, but went sturdily through their work, at times surmounting all difficulties, and eliciting hearty applause. Bosisio, who was the Page, was in good voice, and sang the music of Oscar as well as any of her predecessors. She acted well, and though the part to an American audience will for years to come remain associated with Isabella Hinckley, yet Bosisio created a most favorable impression.”
“Academy of Music. Verdi's 'Ballo’ attracted the usual overflowing audience last evening, but failed to draw the general amount of applause. The latter circumstance is explained by the fact that nearly all the male singers were more or less under the weather. Signor Mazzoleni had to thread his way gingerly in the upper regions, and in the barcarolle, strange to say, did not obtain the encore to which he has been so long accustomed. He was discreet enough, however, to save a galop for the end, and so came out bravely. Signor Bellini was so unwell that it was with difficulty he commenced the evening. Rather, however, than have a change in the bill, he persevered, and considering the very apparent bronchial difficulty under which he was laboring, did extremely well.
Mme. Zucchi fortunately was in excellent voice, and sang with spirit. Mlle. Gebele, as Ulrica, displayed a very creditable advance since last year. Her voice is firmer and fuller than heretofore.”
Yesterday’s performance was not “under a good star.” Mazzoleni was ill, Bellini was hoarse, Carozzi-Zucci was not in voice, and Mrs. Bosisio “endangered” every ensemble number she was in. The best performances were done by the chorus and the orchestra, which are less influenced by the weather. The “Laugh Chorus” – a part of the opera where the scornful laughter of the conspirators, Amelia’s fear and Renato’s jealous anger are depicted – was performed excellently.
The scenery of the opera was decent.
" . . . . Such as it is, the opera [house] at Irving Place pleases us; we excuse its imperfections because we know to whom we may attribute them, and because after all it gives us the occasion for agreeable and intelligent relaxation, which isn’t common in New York. That isn’t because we have everything to commend, even among the artists, for the week that just went by. We would love to throw a veil over the performance of Ballo in Maschera, for example. Mazzoleni, who had sung in Ione three times in a row, was visibly tired; he excels in powerful effects, but when he wants to sing piano, one doesn’t hear him any more, and that’s what happened Friday. Bellini became hoarse in the first act, which didn’t stop him from exposing himself in the following acts; Mme Carozzi-Zucchi, seeing herself so badly backed up, scarcely made the effort to be herself; one couldn’t say anything about Mlle Frida de Gebele, to whom was entrusted the role of Ubrique [Ulrica?]; Mlle Bossission was neither a gracious nor a good singer in the delicious role of the page; she neither vocalized nor shaded it; MM. Dubreuil and Muller, themselves, were excellent, and by that fact the honors of the evening should go to them, an evening lacking, as that happens in the best of theaters. We should add that all these artists, constantly thrown into the breach for the past two weeks, ought to be knocked out, and it showed. One didn’t recognize any more the interpreters whose performances of Poliuto, Lucrezia, Ione and Ernani earned them such a legitimate success. Without speaking ill of the orchestra, we have witnessed several times that it is not the same when it is conducted by MM. Maretzek or Bergmann, or by M. Toriani. What to say about the divertissement of the fourth act? Nothing, for it is what it can be under the conditions the opera finds itself in. When the Imperial City, which encompasses a million souls and boasts of being one of the richest cities in the Universe, will have understood that in order to have a lyric theater that has everything, it should throw a million in the director’s coffer, then we will have the right to ask for ballets that look like something, perfect decorations, and an agreeable production. Until then, we can only thank M. Maretzek for what he does, and he does a lot relative to the resources that he is allowed to employ.”