Tommaso Salvini

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Tommaso Salvini
BirthplaceMilan, Italy
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Salvini, Tommaso


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.


Ricordi, aneddoti ed impressioni. Milan, 1895.


Kugel’, A. Teatral’nye portrety. Petrograd, 1923.
lstoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 3. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sothern, Charles Calvert, Genevieve Ward, Madame Ristori, Barry Sullivan, Tommaso Salvini and, of course, Irving, all traversed the Irish sea to appear in the empire's second city.
He recounts her family history and childhood in Kentucky, how she established herself in the theatrical community in New York, her first starring roles and work with Tommaso Salvini, and the libel trial in which she was involved.
To Miss Ingelow, he describes as "bad acting" a performance of Othello by the celebrated Tommaso Salvini (1829-1916), which ignored Shakespeare's "purpose" and put Ruskin to sleep.