Maretzek Italian Opera: Grand Gala Performance: Max Maretzek Benefit

Event Information

Academy of Music

Carl Bergmann
Max Maretzek

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
31 March 2014

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

11 Apr 1865, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Last appearance of Carozzi-Zucchi, Massimiliani, and Bellini in New York. Program include “Other Attractions.”

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Verdi


Announcement: New-York Times, 01 April 1865, 5.

     “Italian Opera.—The approaching complimentary benefit to Mr. Max Maretzek is attracting the attention of that gentleman’s numerous friends and admirers. The event will take place on Tuesday, the 11th inst., and the programme will contain the entire opera of ‘Il Poliuto;’ one act, (the third,) of ‘La Forza del Destino,’ and other miscellaneous entertainments of a high musical character. In addition to this, we learn, as an invulnerable secret which must only be imparted in strict confidence to our readers that a handsome presentation will be made to the impresario. We are glad of it. He deserves all that a liberal friendship and an intelligent public can bestow on him.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 01 April 1865, 5.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 03 April 1865, 7.
Advertisement: Courrier des États-Unis, 04 April 1865.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 05 April 1865.
Announcement: New-York Times, 08 April 1865, 8.

     Encourages the public to buy up the few tickets that yet remain unsold.

Announcement: New-York Times, 11 April 1865, 4.

     “Italian Opera.—Mr. Maretzek’s benefit takes place to-night. It is tendered to him by the members of his company, and is honestly a proper mark of respect to a hard-working and conscientious man. What we have here in music we owe almost exclusively to Mr. Maretzek. All other managers are trivial and unimportant speculators in comparison with him. It is needless for us to dwell on the merits of a gentleman whose merits we have for so many years been called upon to indorse. It is unnecessary also to direct attention to to-night’s performance at the Academy—the seats being nearly all taken. But, however useless, there are times when the critic feels that his voice may be raised with pleasure to himself. To-night is certainly the opportunity.

     The opera of ‘Il Poliuto’ and an act from ‘La Forza del Destino,’ will be performed.”

Review: New York Herald, 12 April 1865, 4.

     "Mr. Maretzek was the recipient last night of an expression of the good will and appreciation on the part of the opera going public as well deserved as it was hearty and enthusiastic. The artists appeared to vie with the audience in their efforts to render the affair all that was desirable. Il Poliuto was never sung by this company half so well. Zucchi and Massimiliani excelled themselves. The acting as well as the singing in the second and third acts of both these artists, was very fine, and elicited repeated applause, and triple encore for the grand duo in the third act. Bellini, too, sang very well. Mr. Maretzek was called out twice before the curtain, and fairly cheered; but he could not be coaxed into making a speech. A compliment as substantial as the one paid before the curtain was flattering was tendered to the impresario behind the scenes.  It was in the shape of a gift of $7,000 in United States stocks, seven-thirties, from the artists, and his other friends, as a fitting recognition of his liberality, talents, and indefatigable services in the advancement of opera in this country. The performance closed with the third act of La Forza, the brilliant camp scene, and was very finely given.  The directors of the Academy were not outdone in generosity by the artists; for they gave the house free of rent on this occasion, in order to make the compliment to Mr. Maretzek the more complete, and thus testify in this handsome manner to their appreciation of his worth. We have never seen upon the occasion of any benefit a more cordial spirit prevailing towards the beneficiatre than the audience exhibited last night.”

Review: New York Post, 12 April 1865.

     “The Maretzek Benefit. The operatic performance at the Academy of Music last night was in both an artistic and a pecuniary sense, a notable success. In ‘Poliuto’ Zucchi, Massimiliani and Bellini appeared to their very best advantage, and in the Rataplan scene from ‘La Forza,’ Morensi was as brilliant as ever.

     Max Maretzek was called out several times during the evening, and was led out by Zucchi. Besides bouquets, he was also the recipient from his friends of a gift of seven thousand dollars in United States Seven-thirties, while the rent of the house was given freely by the directors. The entire affair shows how warmly Maretzek is appreciated in the American metropolis, where he has done so much for the cause of operatic music.”

Review: New-York Times, 12 April 1865, 5.

     "A brilliant and crowded audience greeted Mr. Maretzek last evening, when he took his benefit. The programme opened with “Il Poliuto” and closed with an act from “La Forza del Destino.”  In the first-named work, both Signor Massimilliana [sic] and Mme. Zucchi are heard at their best. The gentleman, indeed, can hardly be seen to greater advantage. Although a little under the weather he sang with remarkable spirit. Signor Bellini contributed very handsomely to the pleasure of a thoroughly agreeably evening, and Mme. Zucchi was admirable.

     Mr. Maretzek was called before the curtain at the end of the second act, and was endowed with a bouquet to which was attached an envelope containing a very considerable sum of money.  When appreciation takes this practical form it leaves nothing to be desired.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 12 April 1865, 4.

     “Italian Opera. The complimentary performance given to Mr. Maretzek by his artists came off last night.  There was a large and very brilliant audience present but we noticed some vacancies in the stockholder’s seats.  This is no discredit to Mr. Maretzek.  It is most probably that the seats were sold by the owners for half price and parties forgot to come.  That was their loss for the performance on this occasion was, as a whole, the best we have heard at the Academy for many months.  Zucchi seemed to have forgotten all her conventionalities and sang finely.  Her acting was grand, and if this is her last appearance in New York all who saw and heard her on this occasion will regret that she has passed from among us.

     Morensi, Massimiliani and Bellini and all concerned, exerted themselves to their best power, and the whole evening was one of real enjoyment.  Mr. Maretzek may well be proud of this demonstration in favor of his personality and his management.”