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Lucia Elizabeth Vestris

Lucia Elizabeth Vestris (January, 1797 - August 8, 1856) was an English actress.

She was born Lucia Bartolozzi in London, the daughter of Gaetano Stefano Bartolozzi (1757-1821) and granddaughter of Francesco Bartolozzi, the engraver. In 1813 she married Auguste Armand Vestris, who deserted her four years later. Her contralto voice and attractive appearance had gained Madame Vestris her first leading role in Italian opera in the title-role of Peter Winter's II ratio di Proserpina at the King's Theatre in 1815. She had immediate success in both London and Paris, where she played Camille to Talma's Horace in Horace. Her first hit in English was at Drury Lane in James Cobb[?]'s (1756-1818) Siege of Belgrade (1820). She was particularly a favourite in "breeches parts," like Cherubino in the Marriage of Figaro[?], and in Don Giovanni, and with such introduced songs as "Cherry Ripe[?]," "Meet me by moonlight alone," "I've been roaming," etc.

In 1831, having accumulated a fortune, she became lessee of the Olympic Theatre, and began the, presentation of a series of burlesques[?] and extravaganzas--for which she made this house famous. She married Charles James Mathews in 1838, accompanying him to America and aiding him in his subsequent managerial ventures. Her last appearance (1854) was; for his benefit in an adaptation of Madame de Girardin's La Joie fait pour, called Sunshine through Clouds, and she died in London. Her musical accomplishments and education were not sufficient to distinguish her in grand opera, and in high comedy she was only moderately successful. But in plays like Loan of a Lover, Paul Pry, Naval Engagements, etc., she was delightfully arch and bewitching.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.



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