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LUCIA ELIZABETH VESTRIS (1797—1856)

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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 1063 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LUCIA ELIZABETH VESTRIS (1797—1856), English actress, was born in London in January 1797, the daughter of Gaetano Stefano Bartolozzi (1757—1821) and granddaughter of Francesco Bartolozzi, the engraver. In 1813 she married Auguste Armand Vestris (see above), who deserted her four years later. With an agreeable contralto voice and a pleasing face and figure, Madame Vestris had made her first appearance in Italian opera in the title-role of Peter Winter's Il ratio di Proserpina at the King's Theatre in 1815. She had an 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 Bel-grade (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; Lai pia fait pear, called Sunshine through Clouds, and she died in London on the 8th of August 1856. 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.
End of Article: LUCIA ELIZABETH VESTRIS (1797—1856)
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