The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Italian actresses, sisters.

Irma Gramatica Born Nov. 25, 1873, in Fiume, now Rije-ka, Yugoslavia; died 1962 in Florence. Received her musical education in Florence. In 1887 she began to appear in troupes headed by outstanding Italian artists, including C. Rossi, E. Duse, and E. Zacconi. She established her own troupes and introduced contemporary national and translated plays into the repertoire of the Italian theater. She starred in Gia-cosa’s Like Falling Leaves, Bracco’s Lost in the Fog, Verga’s From Yours to Mine, and D’Annunzio’s Daughter of lorio. Among her best roles are Thérèse Raquin (in Zola’s Thérèse Raquin), Luisa (in Schiller’s Cabal and Love), Katarina (in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew), Nora (in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House), and Marikka (in Sudermann’s The Fires of John’s Night). In the opinion of contemporaries, Irma Gramatica inherited the best features of Duse’s artistic persona—charming femininity and humanity.

Emma Gramatica Born Mar. 22, 1875. in Fidenza; died 1965. Her dramatic activity began under the direction of E. Duse. By 1900 she had become one of the most important Italian actresses. Her roles included Hedda Gabler and Nora (in Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and A Doll’s House), Rose Bernd (in Hauptmann’sflose Bernd), Anna (in D’Annunzio’s Dead City), and Cleopatra (in Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra). She appeared successfully in works by contemporary French playwrights (H. Bataille and F. Curel). In her early creative period, she developed the romantic tradition; later she adopted the approach of verismo. Emma Gramatica was especially successful in portraying refined “restless” women.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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