Anno XX / n.s. 10 – 2023
Costruzione del personaggio e dell’immagine di sé

Celebrità e metateatro: ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’ per Adelaide Ristori

Michela Zaccaria
Scuola internazionale di Liuteria

Published 2023-12-22


  • Legouvé,
  • Rachel,
  • Lecouvreur

How to Cite

Zaccaria, M. (2023). Celebrità e metateatro: ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’ per Adelaide Ristori. Drammaturgia, 20(10), 123–133.


In the first half of the 18th century, Adrienne Lecouvreur, diva of the Comédie-Française, brought about a profound change in the French recitative style. Triumphs with the public, rivalries, unhappy love affairs, mysterious circumstances of death and excommunication made her a myth. In 1849, Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé wrote a successful drama for the famous actress Rachel, whose biography resembled that of her 18th century colleague. Adelaide Ristori played Adriana Lecouvreur for fifteen years from 1852. Just as Lecouvreur, who came from humble beginnings, was able to build up a public persona thanks to her talent and high-ranking acquaintances, Ristori, coming from the world of the guitti, had the same fierce ambition and was only recently able to bear the official title of Marquise Capranica del Grillo. Through contemporary printed sources and unpublished documents, mainly from her big archive (correspondence, administrative papers, and scripts), this essay has a twofold aim: on the one hand, to examine the instrumental use that Ristori made of the Lecouvreur character to consolidate her fame among Italian and international audiences; on the other, to identify the peculiarities of her interpretation, the stage evolution, the textual variants.


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