[Met Performance] CID:1840
Martha {3} Matinee ed. Haverly's Theatre, Chicago, Illinois: 02/2/1884.


Chicago, Illinois
Haverly's Theatre
February 2, 1884 Matinee
In Italian


Lady Harriet............Marcella Sembrich
Lionel..................Italo Campanini
Nancy...................Zelia Trebelli
Plunkett................Giuseppe Del Puente
Sir Tristram............Baldassare Corsini

Conductor...............Auguste Vianesi

As an encore, Sembrich repeated part of "The Last Rose of Summer" in German,"

Review in the Chicago Tribune:


A "Martha" Matinee and an Evening Performance of "La Gioconda"

The two performances given by the Abbey Company yesterday afternoon and evening, the last of their Chicago season, were eminently successful in point of attendance, as well as in artistic merit. In the afternoon the company performed one of those reckless tricks for which Mr. Abbey's management is likely to become famous in the history of music - namely the production of Flotow's opera "Martha" without any rehearsals to speak of, notwithstanding the opera had never been give before by the company, and the further fact that Mme. Sembrich, who gave Lady Henrietta, had not sung the part for two years, and never before in Italian. But for all that it was in part an excellent performance, made so by Mme. Sembrich, who was more charming than even, by Mme. Trebelli, whose Nancy was a saucy minx nobody could get angry with, by Signor Campanini, who was in better voice than at any time during his present visit and sang and acted Lionel with splendid effect, and by Signor Del Puente, whose Plunkett was full of humor and of spirit. The chorus blundered outrageously at times, and the orchestra was not free from mistakes in its work, but there was the right spirit in the entire performance, and even the hitches on the stage, caused probably by the total absence of judicious stage management, were turned into simply amusing features by the ready wit of the principals in the performance. Mme. Sembrich as Lady Henrietta was as pleasing and impressive as any of the operatic characters she has assumed. Womanly grace was the main characteristic of her dramatic work and charming simplicity, of her singing. To listen to her "Last Rose of Summer" was like drinking in the gospel of purity and sweetness. This beautiful song came from her lips as pure and simple as it is written, but freighted with a depth of feeling which only a few of the gifted can put into simple tunes. For an encore, which the audience impetuously demanded, she repeated the first strophe in German, and would have, indeed, sung the entire air over again had not Signor Vianese cut her off after the first verse. In the [first] quartet her perfect vocalization and her arch, mischievous manner of acting and singing were also of telling effect. Next to her Signor Campanini engaged the special attention of the audience on account of his surprisingly good disposition. In the duet with Plunkett and in the "M'appari" he scored a genuine success and made up for many shortcomings during the season. He showed, however, some inclination to overact, which at times became disagreeable. Mme. Trebelli won golden opinions for the lively manner in which she portrayed the saucy and mischievous Nancy. She seemed the very incarnation of fun and, while her voice lacks that velvety quality generally looked for in contraltos, she did noble work in all the ensemble numbers and acquitted herself nobly in all parts of her work. Signor Del Puente was as spirited a Plunkett as one wants to see and engaged the favor of the audience whenever he was on the stage. The latter looked better than usual and the fair scene in the second act was made very effective by the introduction of a graceful ballet.

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