Maretzek Italian Opera: L’Africaine: Bellini Benefit

Event Information

Academy of Music

Manager / Director:
Max Maretzek

Carl Bergmann

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
29 August 2018

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

20 Mar 1866, Evening

Program Details

Benefit of Bellini.

Dubreuil replaced Antonucci, who was indisposed.

Performers and/or Works Performed


Announcement: New York Post, 19 March 1866, 3.

Bellini “never fails, and always does so well.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 20 March 1866, 4.

“To-night, Signor Bellini, an artist of the first class, whose services have contributed largely to the success of the season, and whose cheerful alacrity in the discharge of his very arduous duties is known to every habitué of the opera, takes his benefit.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 20 March 1866, 7.

Cast.  “In the course of the evening will be repeated Arditi’s National Hymn, IL GARIBALDINO, Received with great enthusiasm on its first production.”

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 20 March 1866, 4.

Bellini is lauded as “one of the most faithful and trustworthy artists that ever visited America. . . . [A] popular and excellent artist.”

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 20 March 1866.
Review: New York Post, 21 March 1866, 2.

“It was quite unfortunate for Signor Bellini that his benefit night should have been so unpropitious, as regards weather, as last night was. Yet there was a very respectable audience, and Zucchi, Mazzoleni and Bellini seemed to exert themselves as much as though for a far larger one. Bellini especially displayed the full extent of his great vocal powers, and was often gratified by the manifest appreciation of his efforts. We sincerely trust that his benefit at Brooklyn to-morrow night will be favored by the weather, and that his friends and admirers will turn out in full force.”

Review: New-York Times, 21 March 1866, 4.

“The weather yesterday afternoon and evening effectually prevented Signor  Bellini enjoying that recognition at the hands of the public which his merits deserve.  The house was poorly attended, notwithstanding the attraction of Meyerbeer's ‘African.’ It did not indeed represent the seats sold previous to the change. No one will think the less of Signor Bellini for this circumstance, and we mention it only because every one will sympathize with him at this inopportune occurrence. The opera was given. We scarcely need to add, with spirit, Signor Bellini  distinguishing himself as heretofore by the vigor of his style and the admirable proportions of his voice.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 21 March 1866, 4.

“Bellini’s benefit last evening was not honored by so large an audience as his great merit richly deserved, but those present were amply repaid for all discomforts experienced in visiting the opera house on such an inclement night, and those deterred from attending from that cause lost a very fine performance and Bellini’s very best display of his really great qualities.  He seemed disposed to do his utmost to repay the attention shown him by that public, and they, in turn, recognized him as the grand dramatic baritone of the age.

    Zucchi and Mazzoleni were also excellent, and that grand love duet received most admirable treatment from them.

    Dubreul [sic] replaced Antonucci (who is ill) at short notice, in clever style, omitting some passages of course, as no time had been given to learn the part.”

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 21 March 1866, 8.

[Preliminary translation]

"The bad weather conditions led to a low attendance. Dubreuil replaced the sick Antonucci as ‘Don Pedro’ skillfully, although his voice was not the appropriate range for this part."