Uniti (the Cohesive) and Fedeli (the Devoted)

Uniti 1578 – 1640

The first time we hear of the Uniti (who are also called “His Excellence the Duke of Mantua’s troupe) is in 1578 when they play in Ferrara.
1583 they have either some kind of collaboration with Confidenti or there is a splinter group from them that are involved in Unit’s performance.
When they play in Padua 1584 we find a Battista da Treviso playing Franceschina and as late as 1614 Ottavio Bernardino da Roma in the same role.  It was hardly of moral reasons or that they were afraid of the censors that they had men playing female roles. It was probably on artistic grounds. The burlesque possibilities with a man in female roles are classic.
1594 they play from the first of November to the first week of Lent in Florence.
They play Milan in 1596.
After they played for two months in Genoa 1614 we don’t hear from them until 1640 when they play in Florence.

Fedeli 1601 – 1620 (or 1652)

Fedeli was founded in 1601 by Giovan Battista Andreini, Francesco’s and Isabella’s son.
1608 they played at the wedding of Fransesco Gonzaga and Margareta of Savoy where also Giovan Battista’s wife, Virginia played the leading role in the first performance of the opera Arianna by Rinuccini and Monteverdi.
In 1613 they go to Paris through Lyon where they play at Louvren, at the Hotel de Bourgogne and at the court in Fontainebleau and in Saint-Germain until 1614. This time they have with them Tristano Martinelli, who refused to go with Accesi and Pier Maria Cecchini, much to Maria de’Medici’s delight. The Queen who was personal friends with Tristano and God Mother to his children, had tried to have him come to Paris the last time.
Until 1620 they are visible here and there in northern Italy. They don’t reach Paris, where they were heading, until 1620, after a death during the journey.
From 1649 to 1652 we know that Giovan Battista Andreini was in Paris among other places, but we don’t know if he was there together with Fedeli.

See also:
Commercialism in Commedia dell’Arte 
A Commedia dell’Arte chronology
Micke’s courses

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