actress

Storie di emancipazione: Virginia Ramponi Andreini (1583-1631) dal suocero al marito

Author: Paola Besutti
Institution: Università degli Studi di Teramo
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5346-973X
Year of publication: 2019
Source: Show
Pages: 65-83
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/IW.2019.10.1.17
PDF: iw/10_2/iw10204.pdf

EMANCIPATION STORIES: VIRGINIA RAMPONI ANDREINI (1583-1631) FROM HER FATHER-IN-LAW TO HER HUSBAND

Numerous notarial deeds are kept in the State Archive of Mantua, involving some of the most famous comedians of the 17th century. Piermaria Cecchini (Frittellino); Francesco Andreini and his sons Domenico and Giacinto; Giovan Battista (Lelio) with his son Pietro Enrico; Tristano Martinelli; and others used notaries for wills, sales contracts, debt reduction, inventories of assets, and dowries. Some of these documents also involve the women of the Andreini family: Lavinia (sister Fulvia), Caterina (perhaps sister Clarastella), Virginia Ramponi Andreini (Florinda). In particular, an emancipation deed (1620) indirectly affected Virginia (Genoa, 1583? - before 17 November 1631), the first wife of Giovan Battista Andreini. On the basis of document analysis, two perspectives are explored: Virginia’s peculiar contribution to the activities of the family, also from an economic point of view; and the status of women with regards to emancipation, which must be understood from a legal point of view that was patriarchal and defensive of property. The article thus becomes an opportunity to reflect, starting from Virginia but gazing even beyond, on the condition of women who were active in the theatrical and musical world between jurisprudence, artistic professions, economic heritage, and daily life. In conclusion, through some selected examples (the concerto delle dame of Ferrara, Adriana Basile, Margherita Salicola, Antonia Merighi), the theme of emancipation throughout the 17th century is analysed, a period when women singers successfully populated the new operatic market. As the law remained unchanged, these women experimented with different strategies to protect their own person and assets.

Diana, Aurelia e le altre: attrici e capocomiche dell’ultimo duca di Mantova

Author: Michela Zaccaria
Institution: Università degli Studi di Firenze
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7224-6761
Year of publication: 2019
Source: Show
Pages: 103-117
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/IW.2019.10.1.19
PDF: iw/10_2/iw10206.pdf

DIANA, AURELIA AND THE OTHERS: ACTRESSES AND LEADERS OF THE LAST DUKE OF MANTUA

This article introduces the activity of artistic directors Teresa Costantini, Angela Paghetti, and Colomba Coppa in the service of Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga-Nevers, their generous patron and the last Duke of Mantua. Referencing studies that were initiated 30 years ago in the field of musicology and using recent historical research and archival sources, the essay highlights the artistic, organisational, and management responsibilities of commedia dell’arte directors. It reconstructs their relations with Ferdinando Carlo, ducal agents, and the Gonzaga court, while also focussing on their relations with Venetian Grimani impresarios, with whom the Duke of Mantua had established a lasting and generous collaboration. Performing women, prejudicially equated with prostitutes and beneficiaries of gifts and privileges, were depictions of love and glory for a discredited prince, whose array of artists was, however, amongst the most dense and dynamic in Italy. Actresses progressively moved away from the codes of courtliness and, as professionals registered and paid with money, they came to have strong bargaining power and levels of autonomy. However, they were subjected to rules and obligations, especially in Venice, where theatre owners made spaces available only to companies under the protection of the princes who were politically aligned with the Serenissima. During the years of the so-called Spanish succession war, Diana, Aurelia, and the others moved between Venice, Mantua, and Casale, where Ferdinando Carlo had moved after the blockade of Mantua, accompanied by a colourful procession of women, musicians, and commedia actors. Through theatrical misadventures mingled with military manoeuvres in Mantuan territory, and via changes of destination, programme, or repertoire, we read the story of a duchy that had lost its identity and of a rapidly changing theatrical market.

Caterina Bresciani, l’Ircana famosa

Author: Jolanta Dygul
Institution: Uniwersytet Warszawski
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9373-9327
Year of publication: 2019
Source: Show
Pages: 135-146
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/IW.2019.10.1.21
PDF: iw/10_2/iw10208.pdf

CATERINA BRESCIANI, FAMOUS IRCANA

While writing for the Venetian stage, Carlo Goldoni adhered to the requirements of the commedia dell’arte theatre, and thanks to his successful cooperation with actors, he gradually introduced changes to the ossified convention. The comedian-playwright wrote many of his texts for particular performers, using their personal qualities, stage experience, interpersonal relations within the team, and even biographies. Caterina Bresciani is an actress with whom Goldoni worked for as many as 10 theatre seasons, from 1753 to 1762, yet Goldoni does not mention much about her in his memoirs. To her, he owes his greatest stage success in Venice, La sposa persiana (1753), and two subsequent episodes of the story of the wild slave of Ircana. The aim of this article is to analyse the new typology of a female role, created for her first female performer, as well as to examine the performative traces hidden in the texts that will allow us to recreate the Bresciani style of acting.

Dopo l’Ottocento delle attrici, qualche punto fermo sulle attrici italiane del Novecento

Author: Laura Mariani
Institution: Università degli Studi di Bologna
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4305-9884
Year of publication: 2019
Source: Show
Pages: 195-222
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/IW.2019.10.1.25
PDF: iw/10_2/iw10212.pdf

AFTER THE 1800’S, “CENTURY OF ACTRESSES”, A FEW CORE POINTS ON ITALIAN ACTRESSES IN THE 1900’S

Critical studies on the theatre from the 19th and 20th centuries, even founding ones, are limited as they do not include a gender category - a paradox in a space where bodies are central. The actresses, in fact, give life to different stories, which allow for the enrichment of historical-critical reconstructions. Given the vastness of the topic, this article aims to identify some fundamental turning points. We begin with the legacy of the 19th century, rich from both a linguistic and a historical-critical viewpoint; the article moves on to the post-Duse period, which saw, on the one hand, the birth of the actor-artist’s Italian specificity and, on the other, the crisis of female leaders of theatre companies; then, the article discusses the birth of Italian theatre direction in the period following the Second World War and the reaction of a few actresses, like Anna Magnani, who aimed to re-create the reality that was to be reclaimed by the history of theatre. Finally, the article explores the breakdown caused by the New Theatre and even calls into discussion the word for “actress”, with overlaps in the fields of theatre direction and dramaturgy.

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