Cavalletti Carolina (1794 - 1851)


The register of births of the parish of Saints Hilary and Taziano records the birth of a little girl, the daughter of Francesco Cavalletti and Gaetana Pontevichi, two actors of the Battaglia theatre company, then engaged in a series of performances in our region, on August 2, 1794. The little girl, on whom the name Carolina was imposed, was born in Gorizia by chance, and yet she linked the name of the town to her fame as an actress, very famous in her time. Daughter of art, Carolina Cavalletti started acting very young, and at the age of fifteen she was already "first woman"; at eighteen she acted at La Scala in Milan as first actress, achieving great success. She was first actress in several prestigious theatre companies (Battaglia, Toffoloni, Compagnia reale italiana); after marrying the actor Alberto Tessari, her partner on stage since adolescence, she was part of her husband's company. Appreciated interpreter of comedies and tragedies, Cavalletti excelled above all in dramatic roles, for which she carefully prepared herself, isolating herself for a long time during rehearsals from all distractions and worldly activities. On stage she was able to render with passion the jealousy and hatred felt by her heroines, involving the audience emotionally in the events that were performed. She was not particularly beautiful, but she was very elegant both on stage and in her private life, and she spent huge amounts of money to have her costumes and dresses made according to the latest French fashion, so much so that the ladies of good society copied her models. The chronicles of the time praised her robust and well modulated voice, which allowed her to play many roles with confidence: among the most significant are Ricciarda in the homonymous tragedy by Ugo Foscolo, Iphigenia, Medea, Juliet, and many others. In 1845 Caterina Cavalletti retired from the scenes and settled with her beloved husband in Verona, the city where she died, but the exact date of her death, which should have been around 1851, is not known.