Tiberio Fiorilli, also spelled Fiorillo and Fiurelli (November 9, 1608 – December 7, 1694)was an Italian actor of commedia dell'arte known for developing the role of Scaramouche. He was especially popular in France, where he was the director of the troupe of the Comédie-Italienne, which shared with the troupe of his friend Molière at the theatre of the Petit-Bourbon, and the theatre of the Palais-Royal.
He was born in Naples, but left Italy around 1640 for unknown reasons, perhaps simply while following a troupe of actors, or to flee a political intrigue. He arrived in France under the reign of Louis XIII. His acting pleased the queen, which enabled him to attend the court.
It is said that one day, when the two-year-old Dauphin cried (the future Louis XIV), Fiorilli, as Scaramouche, made any possible sound to comfort him. He achieved this task with grimaces and tomfoolery; consequently, the Dauphin had "a need, that he had at the time, the hands and the dress of Scaramouche". Fiorilli was then ordered to visit the court every night to amuse the Dauphin, which helped the Scaramouche character become a stock figure in the theatre of the time. The character of Scaramouche became a standard role thereafter of the commedia dell'arte.
Fiorilli's style differed from other commedia dell'arte players. He abandoned the mask and used the expressiveness of his face to enhance the comedy. His large eyes and eyebrows and long nose contributed to this effect, and he wore moustaches that framed the corners of his mouth and a thin, short goatee. These practices influenced Molière, and by most accounts the two actors developed a close relationship during the years they shared the same theaters. Some critics went so far as to accuse Molière of being Scaramouche's ape. One engraving shows Molière mimicking Scaramouche's grimaces with the help of a mirror.
In the 1670s Fiorilli portrayed Scaramouche in London with great success. He was capable of deft physical farce, including dancing and acrobatics. It is reported that in his 80s he maintained the ability to simulate a kick to another actor's face.
Fiorilli died in Paris and is buried in the Église Saint-Eustache.
Harlequin is the best-known of the zanni or comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia dell'arte. The role is traditionally believed to have been introduced by Zan Ganassa in the late 16th century, was definitively popularized by the Italian actor Tristano Martinelli in Paris in 1584–1585, and became a stock character after Martinelli's death in 1630.
Columbia is a stock character in the Commedia dell'Arte. She is Harlequin's mistress, a comic servant playing the tricky slave type, and wife of Pierrot. Rudlin and Crick use the Italian spelling Colombina in Commedia dell'arte: A Handbook for Troupes.
Lazzi are stock comedic routines that are traditionally associated with Commedia dell'arte. Performers, especially those playing the masked Arlecchino, had many of these "bits" in their repertoire, and would use improvisatory skills to weave them into the plot of dozens of different commedia scenarios. These largely physical sequences could be improvised or preplanned within the performance and were often used to enliven the audience when a scene was dragging, to cover a dropped line or cue, or to delight an expectant audience with the troupe's specialized lazzi.
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright, actor and poet, widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the French language and universal literature. His extant works include comedies, farces, tragicomedies, comédie-ballets and more. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed at the Comédie-Française more often than those of any other playwright today. His influence is such that the French language itself is often referred to as the "language of Molière".
Il Capitano is one of the four stock characters of Commedia dell'arte. He most likely was never a "Captain" but rather appropriated the name for himself.
Il Dottore is a commedia dell'arte stock character, one of the vecchi, or "old men", whose function in a scenario is to be an obstacle to the young lovers. Il Dottore and Pantalone are the comic foil of each other, Pantalone being the decadent wealthy merchant, and Il Dottore being the decadent erudite. He has been part of the main canon of characters since the mid-16th century.
Scaramouche, also known as scaramouch, is a stock clown character of the 16th-century commedia dell'arte. The role combined characteristics of the Zanni (servant) and the Capitano, with some assortment of villainous traits. Usually attired in black Spanish dress and burlesquing a Don, he was often beaten by Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice.
Tabarin was the street name assumed by the most famous of the Parisian street charlatans, Anthoine Girard, who amused his audiences in the Place Dauphine by farcical dialogue with his brother Philippe, with whom he reaped a golden harvest by the sale of quack medicines for several years after 1618. Street theatre was popular theatre, on an improvised stage with a curtain backdrop, to the music of a hurdy-gurdy and a set of viols. More formal contemporary performances were confined to the royal court or to the Hotel de Bourgogne, overseen by the medieval guild that had the monopoly of theatrical performances in Paris.
Zan Ganassa was the stage name of an early actor-manager of Commedia dell'arte, whose company was one of the first to tour outside Italy. Ganassa's real name was probably Alberto Naseli.
Pedrolino is a primo zanni, or comic servant, of the Commedia dell'Arte; the name is a hypocorism of Pedro (Peter), via the suffix -lino. The character made its first appearance in the last quarter of the 16th century, apparently as the invention of the actor with whom the role was to be long identified, Giovanni Pellesini. Contemporary illustrations suggest that his white blouse and trousers constituted "a variant of the typical zanni suit", and his Bergamasque dialect marked him as a member of the "low" rustic class. But if his costume and social station were without distinction, his dramatic role was certainly not: as a multifaceted "first" zanni, his character was—and still is—rich in comic incongruities.
Comédie-Italienne or Théâtre-Italien are French names which have been used to refer to Italian-language theatre and opera when performed in France.
Hôtel de Bourgogne was the name of a former theatre, built in 1548 for the first authorized theatre troupe in Paris, the Confrérie de la Passion. It was located on the rue Mauconseil, on a site that had been part of the residence of the Dukes of Burgundy. The most important French theatre until the 1630s, it continued to be used until 1783.
Molière's company was the theatrical company which formed around Molière from 1648 onwards, when he was performing in the French provinces after the failure of the Illustre Théâtre in 1645. In 1658 the company moved to Paris and, after a successful performance on 24 October 1658 in front of Louis XIV at the Louvre, was allowed to share the large hall in the Hôtel du Petit-Bourbon with the Italian players of Tiberio Fiorillo. At this time Molière's company became known as the Théâtre de Monsieur, since their official sponsor was the King's brother Philippe, Duke of Orléans, known as Monsieur. When the Petit Bourbon was demolished in 1660 to make way for the eastern expansion of the Louvre, Molière's troupe was allowed to use the abandoned Théâtre du Palais-Royal. The latter theatre had originally been built by Cardinal Richelieu in 1641. After Molière's death in 1673, his widow Armande Béjart and the actor La Grange kept the remnants of the company together, merging with the players from the Théâtre du Marais and moving to the Théâtre de Guénégaud. In 1680 the troupe of the Hôtel de Bourgogne joined the players at the Guénégaud, giving birth to the Comédie-Française.
Commedia dell'arte was an early form of professional theatre, originating from Italy, that was popular in Europe from the 16th to the 18th century. Commedia dell'arte was formerly called Italian comedy in English and is also known as commedia alla maschera, commedia improvviso, and commedia dell'arte all'improvviso. Commedia is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century and was responsible for the advent of actresses and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. A commedia, such as The Tooth Puller, is both scripted and improvised. Characters' entrances and exits are scripted. A special characteristic of commedia dell'arte are the lazzi. A lazzo is a joke or "something foolish or witty", usually well known to the performers and to some extent a scripted routine. Another characteristic of commedia dell'arte is pantomime, which is mostly used by the character Arlecchino (Harlequin).
Zanetta Rosa Benozzi Balletti, known under her stage name Silvia Balletti, was an Italian actress. She was active at the Troupe de Regente of Luigi Riccoboni at the Comédie-Italienne in Paris 1716–1758. She was the star of the Italian theatre in Paris and regarded as a superior interpreter of the plays by Pierre de Marivaux. She mainly played the part of heroine in Commedia dell'arte, Silvia. Casanova belonged to her admirers.
Flaminio Scala, commonly known by his stage name, Flavio, was a sixteenth-century Italian stage actor of Commedia dell'Arte, scenario writer, playwright, director, producer, manager, agent, and editor. Considered one of the most important figures in Renaissance theatre, Scala is remembered today as the author of the first published collection of commedia scenarios, Il Teatro delle Favole Rappresentative, short comic plays that served as inspiration to playwrights such as Lope de Vega, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Molière.
Luigi Riccoboni was an Italian actor and writer on theatre, who was director of the Comédie-Italienne in Paris from 1716 to 1731. In France he was known as Louis Riccoboni and his stage name was Lélio.
Francesco Gabrielli (1588–1636) was an Italian actor of the commedia dell'arte. He was particularly famous as a virtuoso musician, who was an accomplished player of a dozen musical instruments. He is sometimes credited with the creation of Scapino, a musical zanni (servant) role, which he may actually have taken from Niccolò Barbieri. Gabrielli first appears as a member of the troupe of the Accesi in 1612, is later recorded as a member of the Confidenti, and in 1624 was with the Fedeli in Paris, before rejoining the Accesi.
Tiberio is a given name. Notable people with the name include:
Lélio is a stock character of the commedia dell'arte.