Adrienne Lecouvreur


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Lecouvreur, Adrienne

 

(also, A. Le Couvreur). Born Apr. 5, 1692, in Damery; died Mar. 20, 1730, in Paris. French actress. Daughter of an artisan.

Lecouvreur studied declamation in Paris with the actor Legrand, acted in provincial theaters, and made her debut in 1717 at the Comédie-Française in Paris. Some of her best roles were in Corneille’s tragedies, including Emilie in Cinna, Roxanne in Iphigénie, and Cornélie in La Mort de Pompée. Her other important parts included the title role in Racine’s Phèdre and Angélique and Alcmène in Molière’s Georges Dandin and Amphitryon.

Lecouvreur continued M. Baron’s pioneering work; she was the first French actress to introduce realistic traits in her performance, to abandon the classic declamatory style that was concerned with external effects, and to adopt a natural, flowing manner. She made an early attempt to reform stage costumes, wearing ordinary dresses instead of a court costume. Lecouvreur’s acting paved the way for the actors of enlightened classicism, including H. L. Lekain.

WORKS

Lettres d’Adrienne Lecouvreur. Paris, 1892.

REFERENCE

Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
Rivollet, G. Adrienne Le Couvreur. Paris, 1925.
References in periodicals archive ?
The opera is often described as "a deft combination of frank emotionalism and flowing lyricism, with pseudo-historical spectacle." Based on a play by Eugene Scribe, the story was inspired by the real-life intrigues of famed actress Adrienne Lecouvreur and the legendary soldier -- and lover -- Maurice of Saxony.
The figure is thought to be a portrait of the celebrated actress Adrienne Lecouvreur, mostly remembered today courtesy of Francesco Cilea's opera.
Cast in the title role of Adrienne Lecouvreur, a popular French melodrama on the fallen woman theme, she wowed her audience scene by scene.
It is amusing as she changes costumes to recognize in turn Alceste, Adrienne Lecouvreur, Violetta, Tosca and laterTurandot (the Puccini opera was created the same vear as Makropulos).
Despite having been excommunicated by the bishop of Montreal for starring in the "despicable" play "Adrienne Lecouvreur," she played to packed houses, including in Worcester, wherever she appeared.
His Adrienne Lecouvreur (1849), a melodrama about an actress who loves a nobleman though unaware of his high rank and true identity, was favored as a vehicle by such notable actresses of the day as Sarah Bernhardt and Helena Modjeska.
In Philadelphia, Otis Skinner appeared at the Museum Theater, and in San Francisco the Polish actress Helena Modjeska played the lead role in Adrienne Lecouvreur. The two would ultimately tour the U.S.