Draper Italian and American Opera: Rigoletto

Event Information

French Theatre

Manager / Director:
Henry Draper

Francisco Rosa

Price: $1.50 balcony box; $1 parquet; $.50 dress circle; $.30 gallery; $10, $6 proscenium boxes

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
23 June 2016

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

29 Sep 1866, Evening

Program Details

“The full orchestra of the late Academy of Music.” “The Italian Chorus, with Max Maretzek’s kind permission.”

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Verdi
Text Author: Piave
Participants:  Draper Italian and American Opera;  Bine de Rossi (role: Magdalen);  Domenico Orlandini;  Emilie C. Boughton (role: Gilda);  Bernardo Massimiliani (role: Duke of Mantova);  Nicolò Barili (role: Rigoletto);  H. Weinlich


Advertisement: New York Herald, 28 September 1866, 7.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 28 September 1866, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 30 September 1866, 5.

“The second performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto was given last night with the same cast as on Thursday night. Miss Emily Boughton as Gilda did better than before. In some places she sang badly, notably in the duet with Rigoletto in the third act. Her inability to command her voice was here very apparent. The other parts were pretty well distributed. Massimiliani, as the Duke, sang a shade better than before. The Magdelen [sic] of Mme. Bina di Rossi was quite a good piece of acting and her singing was excellent. In the whole rendition of the opera there was a marked improvement.”

Review: New-York Times, 01 October 1866, 5.

 “Mr. Draper’s Italian Opera Troupe gave two performances at the French Theatre last week—both of ‘Rigoletto.’ We were present on Saturday, and were glad to notice a good attendance. The occasion was more than usually interesting, from the fact that Miss Emily Boughton made her rentrée in the rôle of Gilda—an important and pleasing part, which suits the lady’s voice. The latter is not great either in quality or quantity, but it is penetrating and tractable, and has received some training. High sopranos are so scarce that it is always agreeable to record the advent of a new one.  Miss Boughton was well supported by Signor Massimiliani, Signor Orlandini, Signor Barili and Mme. de Rossi, well-known and acceptable singers, who gave an excellent rendering to Verdi’s charming music.” 

Review: Courrier des États-Unis, 01 October 1866.

“The performance of Rigoletto, Saturday, was more satisfying, in general, than the preceding one, in the sense that Mlle Boughton was a bit less bad. MM. Massimiliani and Orlandini, an excellent tenor and a good baritone, were the successes of the evening.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 03 October 1866.

“An American singer, Miss Emily Boughton, has twice appeared at this establishment in the character of Gilda, in Verdi’s Rigoletto. She is a young lady of fine social position and studies music simply for the love of it. In private life she has a large circle of admirers of her abilities, and the wealth and influence of her friends has secured her an appearance in opera which she could hardly have obtained without them. Miss Boughton has a sweet soprano voice, melodious in quality, a limited compass that is effective, and deficient in the power necessary for operatic exigencies. She has studied diligently, for her ambition to excel is unquestionable; but we regret that we cannot discover in her public performances the evidence of that high ability which alone can secure operatic success. Her vocalization is defective, and her appreciation of time faint and undecided, and she lacks that abandon which is the uncontrollable impulse of genius, and would burst forth even in the novice destined for a marked career. Her performances were ladylike and amateurish, and nothing more. Stage practice may give her more ease, and the advantages of routine, but we doubt if it will develop those high qualities or those physical requisites which alone can secure a successful operatic career.”