23 July 2016
The delicious coolness of the atmosphere, combined with the refreshing iciness of the ‘united artists,’ drew an unusual attention to the announcement for last night’s performance of the Italian Opera; and despite the lack of confidence universally felt in such little matters, a very fine audience assembled to listen to the favorite opera of ‘Crispino.’ A more mixed gathering we have never seen. The literary and artistic world was well represented; also, the very rural districts. MAZZOLENI, SUSINI, and others of like or less importance, swelled the number; but the vast preponderance of the personnel had red mud upon their soles, and eager curiosity in their eyes. BELLINI as Crispino was immense. He was full of—fun and folic, and as usual, greatly exaggerated the situations. His greeting was enthusiastic. Mlle CANISSA, of German repute, was the well-dressed Annetta of the evening. We say well-dressed, because an old lady from New-Hampshire, who talked all evening to a boor from New-York, who beat time incessantly, said she was. Mlle. CANISSA looked sweetly and acted finely, but her voice was not equal to the not excessive requirements of the rôle. The other characters were not notable, except the Fairy, who was by all odds the worst we have ever been wretched enough to hear, and that is saying a great deal. The chorus bungled and botched everything; in the third act they deserved to be applauded for the perfect abomination of their ill deeds. The grand finale of the first act secured Mlle. CANISSA and BELLINI a double call before the curtain, and that of the second act was given with marked élan and accuracy.
Between the first and second acts Signor CARLO PATTI favored the audience and benefitted ‘that fund’ to the extent of a Souvenir de Bellini. PATTI was born with a love for the violin, and education and experience have wonderfully developed the great natural aptitude he possessed for its artistic handling.”
“Last evening the effort of the associated Italian artists in behalf of the Italian volunteers was better rewarded than on previous occasions. Niblo’s Garden was tolerably well filled, and with an appreciative audience. ‘The Cobbler’ was given in a satisfactory manner; the title part, by Signor Bellini, was admirably rendered.”