Riccoboni, Luigi Andrea [‘Lelio’]
- James R. Anthony
(b Modena, April 1, 1676; d Paris, Dec 6, 1753 ). Italian actor and author. He began his acting career at the age of 14 as a strolling player in Genoa. In 1698 he directed a theatre troupe for the Duke of Modena. He married the actress Elena Balletti, known as Flaminia, in 1706. In an attempt to reform the Italian theatre, he had translations of plays by Racine and Molière published.
In May 1716 Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, Regent of France, re-established the Comédie-Italienne as the Nouveau Théâtre Italien in Paris and installed Riccoboni and his troupe in the Hôtel de Bourgogne, its former home (Louis XIV had expelled its actors from France in 1697). The success of the first play in French at the Nouveau Théâtre Italien (Le naufrage au port à l'anglais by Jacques Autreau, music by Mouret) convinced Riccoboni that only works performed in French or partly in French would succeed. He retired in ...