Mora Italian Opera: La traviata

Event Information

French Theatre

Manager / Director:
Antonio L. Mora

Antonio L. Mora

Event Type:

Record Information


Last Updated:
23 November 2015

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

13 Feb 1867, 8:00 PM

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Fallen Woman
Composer(s): Verdi
Text Author: Piave
Participants:  Ettore Irfre (role: Alfredo);  Signor Fortuna (role: Germont);  Giuditta Altieri (role: Violetta)


Advertisement: New York Herald, 13 February 1867, 1.
Advertisement: New-York Times, 13 February 1867, 7.
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 13 February 1867.
Review: New York Herald, 14 February 1867, 8.

“The reprise of La Traviata at the French theatre last evening, being the second night of Mora’s Italian opera season, showed a marked improvement in many respects.  The orchestra infused more spirit in the light, graceful instrumentation of the opera; the chorus, although weak, showed better ensemble, and the leading characters displayed more confidence, ease and dramatic power than on the opening night.  The extraordinary want of enthusiasm on the part of the audience, amounting to coldness, and in some cases positive prejudice, must certainly have had a chilling effect on the Violetta of the evening. Her voice is a light soprano, pleasing in effect, and not wanting in warmth of expression; but the reception she met with was sufficient to daunt any prima donna and mar the powers of her voice. Her beauty and artless manner were sufficient to make her a very acceptable Violetta. Signors Irfre and Fortuna, as Alfred and Germont, were unexceptionable in voice and acting. Their voices are of the proper caliber for the beautiful little theatre in which they sing.”

Review: New-York Times, 14 February 1867, 5.

“The attendance last night was slim on the occasion of the repetition of ‘La Traviata.’ The work itself cannot be expected to draw. It has been played in this City far more often than in any capital in Europe. Graceful and pleasant as it may be in the matter of melody and feeling, it is no longer fresh or strong enough for a new career. An occasional performance is justified only by the importance of the artists who take part in it. On Monday, when Mr. Mora brought out the work, the performance was by no means impressive, but allowances were properly made for the difficulties of an opening night, and the embarrassment which artists, new to each other, must necessarily have felt. On the second performances these drawbacks may be regarded as having ceased. The undertaking stands or falls on its own merits. We fear that it will do the latter. It were vain to conceal the fact that Mme. Altierei’s success does not justify the hope of anything like sustained popularity. Her Violetta is remarkably animated as a piece of acting, tending we think to over-elaboration, but generally graceful and effective. In dramatic strength—broad, positive, irresistible command of the sympathies—it has often been excelled. The role admits of two interpretations—the one gay, trivial and hollow, expressive of a weak nature; the other reckless, desperate and pathetic, expressive of a sad condition. Mme. Altieri selects the first; Mme. Gazzaniga chose the second, and the sympathies of the public were with her. The character, we think, is one of stern, sacrificial love, ending in death; not of airy trifling with the passion, ending in a change of lovers. Thus, while we recognize much that was good in Mme. Altieri’s acting in the early part of the drama, we found it inconsistent with what followed. In a musical point of view Mme. Altieri has had many superiors. Her voice is neither powerful nor melodious. Its compass is of medium extent, but its intonation is uncertain, and the lady’s execution is only passable. Her best effort last evening was in the first act (ah force [sic] e lui,) but even this was marred by a style entirely at variance with the sentiment of the piece. It failed in consequence to attract attention. Elsewhere we looked in vain for those characteristics which we had been led to expect in a lady who had been ranked next to Malibran and Sontag. Injudicious praise has perhaps placed her too high. It is certain that she has much to learn before she can rank with the average of the artists who during the past ten years have sung at the Academy of Music. The general performance of the opera was about the same as on Monday night.”

Review: New-York Daily Tribune, 15 February 1867.

“The second performance of La Traviata at the French Theater was an improvement.  Chorus and orchestra were much better harmonized, and Madam Altieri’s Violetta showed a gain at least in a stately presence, but appeared to need an unconstrained dramatic energy--the only thing that can compensate for the want of great vocal power is an opera so hackneyed by favorites and sensationists as La Traviata.  Signor Irfre gave us a fair and polished performance of Alfred, and Signor Fortuna’s debut as Germont must be credited with good expression.”

Article: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 17 February 1867, 4.

(…) Mme. Altieri from the Italian Opera ensemble resigned after her lack of success in the Verdi operas at the French theater. It is likely that the ensemble is in the process of falling apart. The German Opera ensemble is also threatened by dissolution because their recent venue, the Olympic Theater, will host English pieces from tomorrow on.