Wallack’s Theatre: Massimiliani Benefit

Event Information

Wallack's Theatre

Angelo Torriani

Price: $1 all parts of the house

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
20 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

21 Apr 1866, 1:00 PM

Program Details

Carozzi-Zucchi was originally scheduled to sing Norma but owing to an indisposition she was replaced by McCulloch.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Bellini
Text Author: Romani
Participants:  Maretzek Italian Opera Company;  Isabella McCulloch (role: Norma);  Fernando [bass-baritone] Bellini (role: Oroveso);  Bernardo Massimiliani (role: Pollione);  Stella Bonheur (role: Adalgisa)


Review: New-York Times, 23 April 1862, 4.

     “The matinée at Wallack’s was rendered more than usually interesting but the débuts of two young ladies in the rôles of Norma and Adelgisa. Miss McCulloch was the Druidess, and making allowance for nervousness, created a decidedly favorable impression in that rôle. The lady possesses a light soprano voice of good quality, but delicate in its texture, and quickly exhausted. It has received good culture, under competent masters, and is controlled with intelligence. The rôle is an embarrassing one for a young artiste. Miss McCulloch may be satisfied with the favorable impression she created in it. Mlle. Stella was the Adalgisa. Her success was genuine and unmistakable. The lady has previously been heard in the concert room, and from her success there the highest expectations were entertained. They were more than realized. Mlle. Stella’s voice is a true contralto, very full, round, and luscious in quality, and remarkably ample in compass. It has improved rapidly under judicious training, but is not yet completely developed. She sang and acted with grace and spirit—with an ease and ability which we do not look for in a debutante. She was encouraged with frequent bursts of applause, and innumerable bouquets. The opera was played pleasantly—Signor Massimiliani and Signor Bellini singing with much force and effect.”

Announcement: New-Yorker Musik-Zeitung, 18 April 1866, 198.

     Ms. Stella Bonheur will perform with the Italian Opera at last, after her debut was postponed 3 times. She has an excellent, beautiful voice with a wide range.

Announcement: New-York Daily Tribune, 19 April 1866.

     “Twice this benefit was postponed at the Academy of Music, in consequence of sickness, and as the Academy of Music cannot be had, it will be given at Wallack’s Theater next Saturday. The opera of Norma will be performed, with Mdme. Carrozzi Zucci [sic] as Norma. This will be the last appearance of Zucchi, as she leaves for Europe next week. We hope to see a crowded house on the occasion.”

Announcement: New-York Times, 20 April 1866.

     “The orchestra and chorus will be the same as at the Academy.”

Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 20 April 1866, 6.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 21 April 1866, 7.

“No reserved seats.”

Review: New York Post, 23 April 1866.

     Brief and part of review for Grover’s German Opera: Fra Diavolo on 04/21/66. “The matinée at the Academy on Saturday was not well attended, as there was a rival matinée at Wallack’s, where ‘Norma’ was given by some of the artists of the Maretzek company—assisted by two young ladies, Miss McCulloch and Miss Stella, who there made their first appearance as singers before the public.”

Review: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 23 April 1866, 8.

     Mme. Zucchi was indisposed and an unknown debutante filled in. Another beginner, although known as concert singer, was Mlle. Stella. Both women were received warmly by the audience; Stella was strongly applauded.

Review: New York Musical World, 25 April 1866, 213.

     Mrs. Stella Bonheur gave a promising debut. Her favorable outer appearance, her strong, smooth and pleasant mezzo soprano voice with a wide range and her acting skills lift her way above amateur status. We have no doubt the young woman will have a glorious career and we hope to see her in different parts in the coming years. The young woman Mrs. McCulloch as “Norma” was clearly not ready to take on such a big part.