Born Jan. 1, 1829, in Milan; died Dec. 31, 1915, in Florence. Italian actor.
The son of actors, Salvini made his professional stage debut in 1842. In 1843 he joined the company directed by G. Modena, who exerted a deciding influence on the development of his acting and his world outlook. In 1848 he took part in the national liberation struggle of the Italian people and was arrested twice. Beginning in the 1860’s he headed his own acting troupes. In 1869 he began touring Europe and the Americas regularly. He came to Russia in 1880, 1882, 1885, and 1900–01. He left the stage in 1903.
Salvini achieved international fame with his interpretations of Shakespearean roles, including the title roles in Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear. His best roles also included Conrad in Giacometti’s The Outlaw and Orosmane in Voltaire’s Zaïre. His acting represented the height of Italian theater, and of Western European theater as a whole, in the 19th century. Salvini combined the romantic elation, political ardor, and heroic zeal characteristic of Modena’s school with deep psychological character study. K. S. Stanislavsky esteemed him highly and devoted considerable attention to the study of his work. Salvini wrote memoirs and theoretical articles. In his works he maintained that an actor must experience the feelings of his characters and disputed the principles of the school of representation developed by the French actor B.C. Coquelin.
WORKSRicordi, aneddoti ed impressioni. Milan, 1895.
REFERENCESKugel’, A. Teatral’nye portrety. Petrograd, 1923.
lstoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 3. Moscow, 1963.