Tag Archives: Commedia Erudita

A tribute to life

“It [Commedia dell’Arte] owed everything to the actor, very little to drama or literature. It trained its own players, created its own conditions, travelled with its own costumes and properties, sometimes with portable stage.”                        From “The Theatre – a Concise … Read the rest of this entry

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Commedia dell’Arte – the Name

The term Commedia dell’Arte was not used during the renaissance. It was used for the first time, the way we do today, in the eighteen century by Luigi Riccoboni in his book Histoire du Theatre Italien from 1728. At that … Read the rest of this entry

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To compose a Commedia dell’Arte group in the sixteenth century

To compose a Commedia dell’Arte group was a highly delicate task. Some masks were needed in order to fill out the usual scenarios. But one couldn’t just chose the best actors. One had to think about that the actors should … Read the rest of this entry

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The end of the heydays of Commedia dell’Arte (Part 3)

There are lots of descriptions about how Commedia dell’Arte degenerated even though many are of the type: “everything has changed to worse”. We can see here how the aging Francesco Gabrielli, who had led a good life as actor in … Read the rest of this entry

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The end of the heydays of Commedia dell’Arte (Part 1)

“Acuity and rationalism does not thrive together with lush and warming jocularity, the humor of rationalism easily becomes merciless satire, as in Voltair for example.”                             Harry Järv, in the pretext to The Very Horrific Life of Great Gargantua It is often … Read the rest of this entry

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Desiosi (The Desired) 1581 – 1603

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 … Read the rest of this entry

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The wealthy and lucky Commedia dell’Arte groups

Those lucky Commedia dell’Arte troupes that could play in the salons of castles and palaces had their benefactors, usually a duke or a nobleman over a province. For those actors who were educated it was also relatively easy to find … Read the rest of this entry

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The church censoring Commedia dell’Arte ( 1 of 2)

It was not easy for Commedia dell’Arte groups to make fun of religion and the church during the latter part of the sixteenth century, after the Council of Trent 1545 – 1563. It was a lot easier during the middle … Read the rest of this entry

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Accesi (the Lightened) 1590 – 1628

Accisi had probably existed for a while when we first hear about them in 1590, when they get a permit to play in Brescia.As early as 1583 Pier Maria Cecchini says that he played for Alfonso II d’Este, the Duke … Read the rest of this entry

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Gelosi (the Zealous Ones) 1568 – 1604

Gelosi was the most famous of the Commedia dell’Arte companies of the time, the superstars of their time. They had a crest, a Janus head, and a motto: Virtù, fama ed honor ne fèr gelosi (Virtue, fame and honor made … Read the rest of this entry

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