Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
29 August 2012
Cast; last night of the season. “Tenth performance in America of Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine.”
“The last evening performance of the season.”
“CITY INTELLIGENCE. Closing of the Opera Season. The last night of the opera season was the most crowded; and the performance was praiseworthy in all respects, though the voices of the leading artists showed signs of fatigue. Mazzoleni was hardly up to his usual standard. The audience received the opera with the usual favor, and Mr. Maretzek’s little speech with special delight; for Mr. Maretzek was the recipient of a handsome testimonial in the shape of a silver pitcher and a pair of goblets, and was called upon for a speech. He thanked the public for their liberal patronage during the past season, paid a deserved tribute to the memory of Rovere, alluding to the fact that sixty performances had been given without any disappointment to the public, thanked his artists for their promptness, and concluded by saying that bad accounts of his artists, while in other cities, would probably come to New York by telegraph ‘because this establishment does not advertise.’
The testimonial to Mr. Maretzek was accompanied by a complimentary address from the gentlemen by whom it was offered to the popular manager, congratulating him on his successful efforts during the past twenty years to make the Italian Opera a permanent institution, and thanking him for what he had done to advance musical art here.”
“The last evening performance of the ‘African’ attracted the most brilliant audience of the season. Every part of the house was absolutely crowded. The artists partook of the general enthusiasm, being in fine spirits and good voice. After the third act there was a general call for Mr. Maretzek, who, surrounded by the principal artists, made his appearance. As the impressario [sic] was modestly making his way from the stage, he was suddenly arrested in his progress. A gentleman (Mr. L. W. Jerome, we believe) reached over his stage-box and handed to Mr. Maretzek a rich service of silver, accompanied with the following address [Letter in tribute to Maretzek, signed by prominent supporters.]
Mr. Maretzek was taken aback, and after bowing his acknowledgments hurried off the stage. He was, however, recalled, and in response to universal demands for ‘a speech’ made a few appropriate remarks. He thanked the public for the uniform patronage bestowed on the opera, and the artists for their unfailing devotion to its musical interests; he mentioned the curious and remarkable fact that in sixty performances there had not been a single excuse made for artist or performance. The extraordinary patronage that had been bestowed on the season Mr. Maretzek ascribed in some measure to the fact that from the commencement he had assumed an independent position. This was received with a tremendous burst of applause. Mr. Maretzek then referred to the departure of the company for the country, and said that it was possible there might be bad telegraphic accounts published of its progress, but he hoped that the community would know to what to ascribe it—namely, that ‘this establishment does not advertise in the New-York Herald.’ The house was made hilarious by this point, and amidst vociferous laughter and hearty applause Mr. Maretzek retired.”
“The closing performance of the season, with the exception of the Matinée, took place last evening. The Academy was literally packed in every part, so that there was not even standing-room for a late comer. The opera went off brilliantly, the artists seeming to be inspired by the crowded and enthusiastic assemblage. ‘L’Africaine’ had never better justice awarded to it. Judging by the appearance of the few last houses, this masterpiece of Meyerbeer could be continued on for several weeks without losing its attraction.
During the evening a pleasant incident occurred, which was a very flattering, but a very just tribute to the manager, Mr. Max Maretzek, for the faithful and brilliant manner in which he has fulfilled all his promises during the past seasons. A number of the wealthy and influential patrons of the opera subscribed for a handsome service of plate, to be presented to Mr. Maretzek at the close of the season. Last night being the closing performance, the presentation took place after the third act. Mr. Maretzek was called before the curtain, and from a proscenium box, the salver and plate were handed to Mazzolini [sic] who presented it to Mr. Maretzek with the following letter: [Letter of tribute to Maretzek, signed by prominent patrons].
As Mr. Maretzek was about to retire he was called upon to speak. He was embarrassed at first, but he soon recovered himself and made a few pertinent remarks. He, of course, expressed his gratitude for the compliment, thanked the public for the brilliant success of his season, attributing it to their sympathy with the independent action of himself and his brother managers. He than paid a touching tribute to the memory of Signor Rovere, and afterward stated that he was going away, that the public would hear very bad things of him—by telegraph perhaps—but he trusted that the public would bear in mind ‘that this establishment does not advertise in The New York Herald.’ This speech was received with shouts of laughter and tremendous applause, proving how thoroughly the public sympathized with the manager.”