Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
27 April 2013
The second night of the ‘Huguenots’ was naturally, an improvement on the first, particularly as regards the performances of the choruses and orchestra. Zucchi and Mazzoleni were again favored with repeated demonstrations of applause, and deserved them. Miss Phillips acted the Page, if possible, more perfectly and naturally than on the first night, and in the two arias she had to sing was epecially [sic] felicitous. To-night she will have a better opportunity in Lucrezia.”
This opera stands above other productions not only of those by this composer but also by other modern masters. In the last 30 years, no big opera with strong dramatic expression - especially in the melodic parts - was written except maybe for Robert. However, Robert’s libretto is silly whereas the libretto of Les Huguenots is a strong point of this work. Meyerbeer gave each character its individual musical expression and therefore an accurate portrait. In addition he clearly distinguished musically between the Catholics and Protestants which are the main elements of this opera.
The performance was rather weak; the chorus sang without “juice” (strength) except the Soldier’s chorus. The soloists Mazzoleni as Raoul, Mrs Zucchi as Valentine and Ms. Philipps as Page satisfied only partly. Philipps was too clumsy for her role, her voice was too heavy.