(pseudonym of M. Delaunay). Born Jan. 7, 1798, in Lorient; died May 20, 1849, in Paris. French actress.
Dorval acted in theaters in the provinces as a child. From 1818 to 1834 she worked at the Porte-Saint-Martin Theater, one of the leading democratic “theaters of the boulevard” in Paris. From 1834 to 1838 she acted at the Comedie Françhise. The main theme of Dorval’s art was a profound sympathy for women whose ruin is a result of the inhuman conditions of the bourgeois social order. She created the characters of sincere, whole-hearted women who are forced to struggle for the right to happiness. The closeness of Dorval’s artistic theme to the rebellious tendencies of romantic drama made her the outstanding actress of the progressive romantic theater. Dorval’s art enjoyed particular recognition among democratic audiences who valued its humane and emotional nature. Her best roles were Amélie (Thirty Years or the Life of a Gambler by Ducange), Marion De Lorme (Marion De Lorme by Victor Hugo), Adéle (Antony by Dumas pere), and Kitty Bell (Chatterton by Vigny).
REFERENCEFinkel’shtein, E. L. “Maria Dorval’.” In Zapiski Leningradskogo teatral’nogo instituta, fasc. 1. Leningrad-Moscow, 1941.
E. L. FINKEL’SHTEIN