Lucia Elizabeth Vestris

Lucia Elizabeth Vestris

Infobox actor
name = Lucia Elizabeth Vestris

imagesize = 250px
caption = c. 1835 Engraving: Eliza Vestris in "The Alcaid"
birthname = Lucia Bartolozzi
birthdate = January, 1797
location = flagicon|England London
deathdate = death date|1856|08|8|df=y
deathplace = flagicon|England London
othername =
yearsactive = 1815—1854
spouse = Auguste Armand Vestris
Charles James Mathews
homepage =
notable role =
academyawards =
emmyawards =
tonyawards =

Lucia Elizabeth Vestris (January, 1797 – 8 August 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, including the management of the Lyceum Theatre and the theatre in Covent Garden. They inaugurated their management of Covent Garden with the first known production of "Love's Labour's Lost" since 1605; Vestris played Rosaline. In 1840 she staged one of the first relatively uncut productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", in which she played Oberon, beginning a tradition of female Oberons that lasted for seventy years.

Her last appearance (1854) was for Charles's 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.


*F. E. Halliday, "A Shakespeare Companion 1564-1964," Baltimore, Penguin, 1964.
* [ Profile of Vestris and others who worked with James Planche]

NAME= Vestris, Lucia Elizabeth
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Bartolozzi, Lucia
SHORT DESCRIPTION= British actress and theatre manager
DATE OF BIRTH= January, 1797
DATE OF DEATH= August 8, 1856


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