Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
29 August 2018
“. . . . This evening, they present La Traviata with M. Mazzoleni and Mme Carozzi-Zucchi. We heard this singer last year in Verdi’s opera, and we believe that the role of Violetta is not made for her. We don’t want to discourage Mme Zucchi, but her talent, which is all dramatic, doesn’t accommodate itself to the half-colors of the Traviata; even her physique isn’t there. Whom will Mme Zucchi—who, thank Heaven, bears herself wonderfully and enjoys excellent health—make believe that she is dying of consumption? That should be said without prejudice about the success which the singer will doubtless receive, but it should not be, precisely because the engaging attitude of the public induces her to move out of the genre which is most appropriate for her. For M. Bellini, the Traviata has always been one of his best creations.”
“Academy of Music.—‘La Traviata’ was given here last evening to a fine and appreciative audience. The performance was unusually interesting, introducing as it did three of the best dramatic artists of the troupe, Mme. Carozzi-Zucchi, Signor Mazzoleni, and Signor Bellini. The opera needs, not only singing but great and pathetic acting. The first was, of course, assured, the second was bestowed in the most prodigal way. We doubt if the drama has ever been better acted in New York. When we add that the singers were in admirable voice and condition, it will be seen that the performance was unusually good.”
“The favorite opera of La Traviata was given last evening to a large but not crowded audience. The principal characters were sustained by Mlle. Carozzi-Zucchi, Mazzoleni, and Bellini, with Dubreuil, Barili, Muller, Mlle. Ficher and the Reichardts in the subordinate parts. Thedrinking duo in the opening scene was sung with infinite spirit by Zucchi and Mazzoleni, and was loudly applauded. Their duet following, in which the tenor developes [sic] the leading musical idea, which Mazzoleni sang with rare tenderness and passion, was a fine performance throughout; the singers were in perfect concord of thought, and every point was well made even to the double cadenza at the close. It was warmly appreciated by the audience. Zucchi’s grand scene, which followed, was a painful exhibition of flatness; from the beginning to the end her intonation was fearfully false, scarcely once reaching the true pitch, and using the ornament of the shake half a tone below the right note. Violetta was consumptive, we know, and weak in the chest, so perhaps after all it was the consummate acting of Zucchi, and intended to carry out the character to the minutest detail. If so, why not introduce a cough or two, one, for instance, where that laborious shake was; this would throw an air of nature over it and account for the flatness. During the third and fourth acts Zucchi seemed to recover herself, and sang with more ease and more effects. Her acting throughout was very fine; she entered into the feeling of the character, and wrought it up to an intensity that we had hardly deemed possible.
Mazzoleni’s Aria in the second act was rendered with much passionate pathos; it only needed a little more color to have been a perfect performance.
Bellini’s Germont was as excellent as usual, and his ‘Di Provenza’ was deliciously sung. All the concerted music was sung with promptness and spirit, and the orchestra was very brilliantly conducted by Max Maretzek.”