Maretzek Italian Opera: Il trovatore

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Carl Bergmann

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
17 July 2013

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

09 Oct 1865, 8:00 PM

Program Details

American debut of Mlle. B. de Rossi.

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Troubadour
Composer(s): Verdi
Text Author: Cammarano
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Count de Luna);  Francesco Mazzoleni;  Carlotta Carozzi-Zucchi (role: Leonora);  Bine de Rossi (role: Azucena)


Advertisement: New-York Daily Tribune, 06 October 1865.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 07 October 1865.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 07 October 1865.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 07 October 1865.
Advertisement: New York Post, 09 October 1865.
Announcement: New-York Times, 09 October 1865, 4.
Review: New York Post, 10 October 1865, 2.

“Another of Maretzek’s new artists made her American debut last night at the Academy, as the Gipsey in ‘Trovatore.’ Madame de Rossi comes among us quite unknown and utterly unheralded by managerial announcements. Judged, therefore, entirely on her own merits, the verdict of the audience was quite impartial.

          That verdict is, that the new-comer is an experienced, skillful lyric artist, with a fair contralto voice, of good tone and culture, but not very powerful.  In the earlier part of her performance the lady seemed to be laboring under some difficulty of articulation, or shortness of breath, which considerably marred the good effort of her vocalization.  This defect was not apparent in the last act, in which Rossi sang charmingly.  Her debut was on the whole a genuine success. 

          Mazzoleni as the Troubadour dressed and looked splendidly, and sang well, excepting in the final air of the third act, where he tried to introduce a high note and failed.  Bellini was in admirable voice, and sang in his very best style; and we all know how excellent that is.  Zucchi, as Leonora, gave one of her most impassioned and interesting lyric delineations.

          The popularity of ‘Trovatore’ was proved by the immense and brilliant audience which gathered to hear this work. It is now just ten years ago—in 1855—that it was first sung here by Steffanone, Vestvali, Brignoli and Amodio. The first of these is in South Italy; the second, a leading tenor in Europe; the third. A star actress on the American stage; and the last is dead. We have had more performances of ‘Trovatore’ in this city than of any other single opera, yet it seems as popular to-day as it was during the first year of its production.”

Review: New-York Times, 10 October 1865, 4.

“In the person of Mlle. B. De Rossi, who appeared here last evening for the first time, Mr. Maretzek has evidently made a valuable addition to his already powerful company.  The lady is an experienced contralto, whose voice, without any particular saliencies, is yet good, and completely at her command.  She acts well and knows the business of the stage thoroughly. Her interpretation of the rôle of Azucena was in every way satisfactory.

          It is astonishing how well ‘Il Trovatore’ yet draws.  The house last evening was entirely crowded—the best but one, indeed, of the season.  The artists were in fine voice, (but Signor Mazzoleni had to shirk the high note in Di quella pera) [sic] and the performance was good and heartily applauded.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 10 October 1865.

The favorite opera of Il Trovatore, was given . . . last night, to one of the largest audiences we ever saw within the walls. Not only was it one of the most crowded, but it was the most brilliantly dressed audience that we have seen present for several years. Long before the opera commenced every reserved seat was disposed of and a large number of anxious visitors were greatly disappointed. Il Trovatore always pleases the misses; its melodies are familiar to all, and the wild character of its legend possesses peculiar charms which never fail to be attractive.

          Its performance last night was in every respect admirable. The choruses which require delicate, prompt and certain execution were better rendered than we ever remember to have heard them; all the voices being so fresh, true and telling. The orchestra was admirably led by Carl Bergmann. All the orchestral points were brought out with sharpness and decision, and with a delicacy and a sentiment not very often achieved.

          The debutante of this occasion, Mlle. B. de Rossi, made a favorable impression.  She is an experienced and self-sustained artist, and she possesses dramatic power in a high degree.  Her voice is very unequal, and its general character is want of body, of spontaneity, but she manages it with such skill, reserving its strength for points of impassioned utterance, that we are inclined to overlook the natural wants in the artistic management and the strong dramatic effects produced. Mlle. Carozzi-Zucchi continues to sustain her new phase of excellence. She uses her fine voice with more judgment than heretofore, and it is not rare now to hear its rich tones sustained in their integrity, without wavering or flattening. She is full of passionate sentiment, and expresses it with fervid earnestness; she enters into the spirit of the situation, and gives the whole vigor of her nature to the development of the character assumed. She is unquestionably a dramatic lyric artist of the first class.

          It was feared that Mazzolini’s [sic] cold would compel him abstain from singing, but he would not give up, and we must do him the justice to say that he rarely if ever sang better. He attacked the high notes fearlessly, and his confidence was not misplaced, for they all came out clear as a bell and as telling as trumpet tones, and while he sang with infinite spirit and force, he was careful of the finer shades of artistic coloring. Mazzolini [sic] is a master of his art.

          The Count de Luna is one of Signor Bellini’s best roles; and as he was in his best voice, his success was very marked indeed. He sang the Aria ‘Il balen’ with such delicacy of sentiment, warmth of feeling and well-considered light and shade, that drew down a perfect storm of applause and a demand for repetition, but this wish was not complied with. It was, however, a performance which reflected the highest credit upon him as an artist.

          The ensemble pieces were given with that care and attention to the coloring intended by the composer, which has been long an unknown feature, and is one of the most important reforms of the season.  As a general rule, formerly each party in a trio or quartette sang as though he or she was performing a solo and had to outsing the rest, so that such affairs were painful to listen to; now, however, the system is changed, and these concerted pieces are among the most charming features of the operatic performance.”

: Courrier des √Čtats-Unis, 16 October 1865.

     "The beautiful weather, which reigned all week and which didn't alter until Saturday evening, has carried happiness to the opera. At each performance there was a full house. Is that to say that the execution of the works which were given was irreproachable? No, without doubt, and even though the ensemble was generally good, we have to indicate some of the less good imperfections. What we blame first are the head colds. We have a grudge against the indispositions that disfigured Il Trovatore last Monday. MM. Mazzoleni and Bellini weren't themselves; Mme Carozzi-Zucchi alone valiantly sustained the burden of the performance. . . . "