Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: Tommaso Salvini
Tommaso Salvini (January 1, 1829 in Milan – December 31, 1915 in Florence) was an Italian actor. His father and mother were both actors, and Tommaso first appeared when he was barely fourteen as Pasquino in Goldoni’s Donne curiose. In 1847 he joined the company of Adelaide Ristori, who was then at the beginning of her brilliant career. It was with her as Elettra that he won his first success in tragedy, playing the title rôle in Alfieris Oreste at the Teatro Valle in Rome.
He fought in the cause of Italian independence in 1849; otherwise his life was an unbroken series of successes in his art. He acted frequently in England, and made five visits to America, his first in 1873 and his last in 1889. In 1886 he played there Othello to the lago of Edwin Booth.
Apart from Othello, which he played for the first time at Vicenza in June 1856, his most famous impersonations included Conrad in Paolo Giacometti’s La Morte civile, Egisto in Alfieri’s Merope, Saul in Alfieri’s Saul, Paolo in Silvio Pellico’s Francesca da Rimin, Oedipus in Nicolini’s play of that name, Macbeth and King Lear.
Salvini’s acting in Othello greatly inspired the young Russian actor Constantin Stanislavski, who saw Salvini perform in Moscow in 1882 and who would, himself, go on to become one of the most important theatre practitioners in the history of theatre. Stanislavski wrote that Salvini was the “finest representative” of his own approach to acting.
Salvini retired from the stage in 1890, but in January 1902 took part in the celebration in Rome of Ristori’s eightieth birthday. Salvini published a volume entitled Ricordi, aneddoti ed impressioni (Milan, 1895). Some idea of his career may be gathered from Leaves from the Autobiography of Tommaso Salvini (London, 1893).
Salvini was so confident in his talents as an actor that he was once quoted as saying, “I can make an audience weep by reading them a menu.”
10 February 1894, The Spectator, “An actor on acting,” pg. 202, col. 1:
Natural advantages like that, carefully trained, go a long way for artistic success, even if we do not go so far as Rubini, who, when asked in his old age what were the chief qualifications for a singer’s career, answered, “Voice, voice, and then more voice.” Nothing lingers fondly on the ear, after the play, like a beautiful voice, be it Delaunay’s or an Ada Rehan’s.
My Life in Art
By Konstantin Stanislavsky
And to one of our home-grown tragedians, who had lost his voice by drinking, and who asked Salvini what was necessary in order to become a tragedian, Salvini answered:
“You need only three things: voice, voice, and more voice!”
Salvini said this not only to hoarse tragedians but he repeated it at every opportunity, for like Possart, he attached a tremendous importance to the voice in tragic roles.
Speech Quality and Interpretation:
Theory, Method, Material
By Jane Effie Herendeen
New York, NY: Harper & Brothers
Salvini, once asked what were the essentials for an actor of tragedy, said there were three: “Voice, voice, voice.”
By Robert Lewis
Yet the actor who was one of the most important inspirations for Stanislavski in the early period when he was formulating (Pg. 5—ed.) his Method was Tommaso Salvini, the famous Italian actor. And he’s the fellow who said, “The three requisites to play a great tragic role are voice, voice—and more voice.”
By Robert Cohen
Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing COmpany
Asked to name the three most important aspectsof acting, Tommaso Salvini, the great nineteenth-century star (and favorite of Stanislavsky), said, “Voice, voice, and more voice.” We have moved away from the oratorical style of Salvini’s era, to be sure, but a supple, commanding, and engaging voice is as important as ever.