They are first heard of in Pisa 1581.One of the reasons webring up Desiosi is that they were led by a woman, Diana Ponti, and were often called “Dianas Troup”. She was much celebrated and often the main attraction. Diana was simultaneously involved with in many other Commedia dell’Arte groups in the 1580- and 1590ies.
Desiosi often played in Rome and the Papal state. There they were absolute forbidden to bring women. This, and the fact that she was involved with many other groups, lead us to believe that she probably did not lead the group the whole time.
1596 they play for the Duke of Mantua, who writes to the Duchess of Ferrara to give her his recommendations, as the group was passing through.
From 1597 it is possible that Flamminio Scala was the leader of the group.
In 1599 the y play in Verona and in December they are in Cremona with Tristan Martinelli who writes one of his letters to the French queen Maria de´ Medici from there.
1603 is the last time we hear from them as they hire Stanza di San Giorio de´Genovesi in Napoli.
From the middle and the end of the seventeens century the great Commedia dell’Arte groups disappeared. The courts could no longer afford to support them in the same way as before. It was not a ´la mode to patronize the arts. And there were less and less “fine gentlemen” like Flaminio Scala and Francesco Andreini who were tempted to play Commedia dell’Arte
The Commedia dell’Arte groups goa a bigger market and consequently Italy got their first impressarios. The group became also less dependent of their old patron. Many chose to work as “fringe” groups. It also became more stars then groups in within “the elite” in Commedia dell’Arte.
WOMEN IN COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE
THE ORIGINS OF THE MASK
MICKE’S COMMDEDIA DELL’ARTE WORKSHOP