Tommaso Salvini


Tommaso Salvini

Tommaso Salvini (born January 1, 1829 in Milan - died December 31, 1915 in Florence) was an Italian actor. His father and mother were both actors, and Tommaso first appeared when he was barely fourteen as "Pasquino" in Goldoni's "Donne curiose". In 1847 he joined the company of Adelaide Ristori, who was then at the beginning of her brilliant career. It was with her as "Elettra" that he won his first success in tragedy, playing the title rôle in Alfieris "Oreste" at the Teatro Valle in Rome.

He fought in the cause of Italian independence in 1849; otherwise his life was an unbroken series of successes in his art. He acted frequently in England, and made five visits to America, his first in 1873 and his last in 1889. In 1886 he played there "Othello" to the lago of Edwin Booth.

Apart from "Othello", which he played for the first time at Vicenza in June 1856, his most famous impersonations included "Conrad" in Paolo Giacometti's "La Morte civile", "Egisto" in Alfieri's "Merope", "Saul" in Alfieri's "Saul", "Paolo" in Silvio Pellico's "Francesca da Rimini", "Oedipus" in Nicolini's play of that name, "Macbeth" and "King Lear".

Salvini's acting in "Othello" greatly inspired the young Russian actor Constantin Stanislavski, who would, himself, go on to become one of the most important theatre practitioners in the history of theatre.

Salvini retired from the stage in 1890, but in January 1902 took part in the celebration in Rome of Ristori's eightieth birthday. Salvini published a volume entitled "Ricordi, anedotti ed impressioni" (Milan, 1895). Some idea of his career may be gathered from "Leaves from the Autobiography of Tommaso Salvini" (London, 1893).

His son Alessandro (1861-1896), also an actor, had several notable successes in America, particularly as "d'Artagnan" in "The Three Guardsmen".

References

*1911


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