Academy of Music
Manager / Director:
7 January 2016
“The cast for ‘Faust,’ which is to be given tonight at the Academy of Music, will afford a new opportunity for Miss Hauck, who is to be the prima donna this evening. Her performance will be watched with kindly interest by her numerous admirers. Signor Anastasi, whose agreeable tones are always listened to with pleasure, is also assigned a prominent part and we shall hear those always trustworthy artists, Signors Bellini and Antonucci. The ballet will add its attractions to the performance this evening.”
Soloists with Maretzek’s Italian Opera Company. (…) Maretzek has invested well in the youthful Signor Anastasi, who has made extraordinary progress in the art of singing in the last several years. (…) Miss Hauck and Mrs. Peralta do their best and are partly successful in helping the New York audience to forget Miss Kellogg.
“In spite of adverse criticism, Gounod’s ‘Faust’ continues to retain its hold on the public favor, as was demonstrated by the large audience at the Academy last night, which gave repeated evidences of satisfaction. There must be some good reason for its popularity, and the most obvious one is that its composer is a man of real genius, as we think will be admitted when his last production, ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ comes to be produced here. A large share of the favor ‘Faust’ has met with in New York has been due to the excellent manner in which it has been put on stage by Mr. Maretzek. The scenery and costumes, as well as the effective and spirited choruses, have been admirable, and were especially good last evening.
The special interest last night, however, centred [sic] in the performances of Miss Hauck and Signor Anastasi. The former was placed in a most trying position. The character of Margaret, which she assumed for the first time, is one whose very simplicity constitutes its great difficulty. There are hundreds who can represent creditably characters in which some one trait or passion is exaggerated and predominant, to one who can truthfully embody Goethe’s conception of the simple, trusting, pure-minded Margaret. Simplicity, whether in oratory, writing, acting or singing, is the last achievement of art. It is, therefore, not derogatory to Miss Hauck to say that she did not come up to our ideal of the Margaret of Goethe and Gounod. If we say that in many respects she made a good approximation to this ideal, while never departing widely from it, we pay a high compliment, which she well deserves. Simplicity, however, does not pre-suppose a deficiency of animation and impassional [sic] feeling, even in a character wholly pure and guileless. Miss Hauck was frequently and warmly applauded, and fairly laden down with floral testimonials, pleasant and appropriate recognitions of her real merits as a singer.
Signor Anastasi showed the quality of his voice to excellent advantage in the music assigned to the part of Faust. His acting, however, was deficient in warmth, and he failed somewhat in imparting the passionate sentiment of the music.”
“GOUNOD’S ‘Faust’ was the opera last evening, with Miss AMALIA HAUCK and Sig. ANASTASI in the two principal parts, the character of Mephistopheles being sustained with vigor by Sig. ANTONUCCI, while the subordinate, but by no means unimportant rôles of Sibel and Valentine intrusted to Mme. TESTA and Sig. BELLINI completed what was in all respects a more than ordinary performance of this most popular of all of GOUNOD’S works. How ‘Faust’ is placed on the stage, under Mr. MARETZEK’S direction, is well known to all frequenters of the opera, as well as how admirably the orchestral interludes, accompaniments and incidental music are played by the fine orchestra which Mr. CARL BERGMAN knows so well how to subdue and direct. On these points, indeed, it is wholly unnecessary to dwell; enough that the ensemble was as imposing as ever. As usual, however, and very naturally, the scene of the Garden was the most absorbing of all, and in this Miss HAUCK and Sig. ANASTASI seemed to be entirely equal to the poetically interesting situation. Miss HAUCK’S Marguerite is quite as fascinating as it is original, and quite as clever as it is piquant. Signor ANASTASI has rarely given such tender expression or such exquisite finish to anything as to the charming apostrophe to Margaret’s domicil, ‘Cast’ avil,’ or ‘Salve dimore Casta,’ as it is variously rendered it Italian. The love duet—unquestionably GOUNOD’S masterpiece in the way of expressive music—was, as always, the culminating point, and brought the curtain down amid loud and general applause. Signor ANTONUCCI, as before, showed by his excellent rendering of the Evil One how thoroughly well versed he is both in the dramatic and musical requisites of his part. There is little to add beyond the fact the Mme. TESTA was the same pleasant Sibel of last year; that she gave her air, ‘Parletele d’Amor,’ with vivacity and point. Signor BELLINI was, what he never fails to be, thoroughly efficient in the small part of Valentine.”