25 February 2019

25 February

Carlo Goldoni – playwright

Greatest Venetian dramatist still entertains audiences today

Carlo Goldoni, the author of The Servant of Two Masters, one of Italy’s most famous and best loved plays, was born on this day in 1707 in Venice. Goldoni became a prolific dramatist who reinvigorated the commedia dell’arte dramatic form by replacing its masked, stock figures with more realistic characters. A former law student, in 1748 he began writing for the Teatro Sant’Angelo company in Venice before switching to the Teatro San Luca, now called Teatro Goldoni. Goldoni eventually left Venice for Paris and after retiring from the theatre went to teach Italian to the French royal princesses at Versailles. Read more…


Enrico Caruso – opera singer

Tenor's voice still regarded as greatest of all time 

Operatic tenor Enrico Caruso was born on this day in 1873 in Naples. Believed by many opera experts to be the greatest tenor of all time, Caruso had a brilliant 25-year singing career, appearing at many of the major opera houses in Europe and America, including 863 appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. After making his stage debut in Naples in 1985, he was given a contract by the prestigious Teatro alla La Scala in Milan in 1900. He made more than 200 recordings of his beautiful voice, some as early as 1902. Read more…


Alberto Sordi - actor

Comic genius who appeared in 190 films

Alberto Sordi, remembered by lovers of Italian cinema as one of its most outstanding comedy actors, died on this day in 2003 in Rome, the city of his birth, at the age of 82. When his funeral took place at the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano it was estimated that the crowds outside the church and in nearby streets numbered one million people. He made the first of his 190 films in 1937 and became known for sending up the foibles of quirks of the Italian character. Along with Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi and Nino Manfredi, he made up a quartet that has been described as Italy's equivalent of the Ealing comedy school. Read more…


Giovanni Battista Morgagni - anatomist

The father of modern pathological anatomy

Anatomist Giovanni Battista Morgagni, who is credited with turning pathology into a science, was born on this day in 1682 in Forlì in Emilia-Romagna. Morgagni was professor of Anatomy at the University of Padua for 56 years. In 1761, when he was nearly 80, he brought out the work that was to make pathological anatomy into a science – De Sedibus et causis morborum per anotomem indagatis (Of the seats and cause of diseases investigated through anatomy). He was the first anatomist to demonstrate the need to base diagnosis, prognosis and treatment on an exact and comprehensive knowledge of anatomical conditions. Read more…


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