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Arlecchino

Arlecchino  

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Overview Page
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Literature
One of the comic zanni or servant roles of the commedia dell'arte. Wearing a suit patched with scraps of different colours, with a soft cap on his shaven head, he ...
Bartolomeo Bocchini

Bartolomeo Bocchini  

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Overview Page
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Literature
(1604–48/53).Bolognese painter of theatrical scenes, associated with the commedia dell'arte, particularly in Bologna and Venice. He used the name Zan Muzzina and may himself have been a zanni. As ...
Brighella

Brighella  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
One of the zanni or servant roles of the commedia dell'arte. Originally a thief and a bully, with much in him of the Neapolitan street-corner boy, he later became a ...
Carlo Goldoni

Carlo Goldoni  

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Literature
(1709–93),Italian dramatist, destined for the law, but drawn to the theatre by his desire to reform the now moribund commedia dell'arte by replacing the old-style improvisation on an outline ...
commedia dell'arte

commedia dell'arte  

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An improvised kind of popular comedy in Italian theatres in the 16th–18th centuries, based on stock characters. Actors adapted their comic dialogue and action according to a few basic plots (commonly ...
Gabrielli family

Gabrielli family  

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Italian actors in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Giovanni (d. between 1603 and 1611) played the servant's role of Sivello, and was renowned for his controlled non-scurrilous tone and his ...
Il Capitano

Il Capitano  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
An important unmasked role of the commedia dell'arte, often distinctive for being a social outsider, capable of complicating the action, introducing a bravura note, and serving as amoroso to one ...
lazzo

lazzo  

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(pl. lazzi),slight piece of byplay indulged in by the comic servants of the commedia dell'arte, consisting of a small, unexpected ornamentation by word or gesture superimposed on the main ...
Martinelli family

Martinelli family  

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Mantuan commedia dell'arte actors. Drusiano is known to have appeared with various companies: his brother Tristano (1557–1630) was far more famous, as interpreter of the role of Arlecchino or ...
Pantalone

Pantalone  

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One of the stock characters, or ‘masks’, of the commedia dell'arte, from which is derived the Pantaloon of the English harlequinade. In both capacities he retained his place in the ...
Pasquil

Pasquil  

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Subject:
Literature
‘Pasquino’ or ‘Pasquillo’ was the name popularly given to a mutilated statue disinterred at Rome in 1501, and set up by Cardinal Caraffa at the corner of his palace near the Piazza Navona. It became ...
Pier Maria Cecchini

Pier Maria Cecchini  

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Literature
(1563–1645)Commedia dell'arte actor-manager from Ferrara, who created the Zanni-type mask Fritellino and directed the Accesi company. Frustrated in his career by quarrels with colleagues and patrons, ...
Pulcinella

Pulcinella  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
One of the zanni or comic servant masks of the commedia dell'arte, a humpbacked, doltish fellow. In his Italian form he originated from Naples. Little is known of his roles ...
Scapin

Scapin  

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One of the zanni or servant roles of the commedia dell'arte. Like Brighella, Scapino was crafty and unprincipled, and when in danger lived up to his name, which means ‘to ...
Scaramouch

Scaramouch  

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A stock character in Italian commedia dell' arte, a cowardly and foolish boaster usually represented as a Spanish don, wearing a black costume; the name is an adaptation of Italian scaramuccia ...
Tiberio Fiorilli

Tiberio Fiorilli  

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(c.1608–1694)Neapolitan actor performing in France and abroad. One of the most celebrated actors of the century, and object of a picaresque and partly inaccurate biography, he perfected the mask ...
Zan Ganassa

Zan Ganassa  

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Overview Page
The Italian actor-manager Alberto Naseli (c.1540–84) adopted the stage role of ‘Zan Ganassa’, one of the earliest Zanni roles in commedia dell'arte. The troupe which he managed for over twenty ...

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