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Emma Liona (Lady Hamilton)

by Amelia Rosselli

world première

directed by Francesco Tarsi and Giacomo Rosselli

produced by Teleme Teatro and Fondazione Il Fiore, with the support of the City and Province of Florence
on the occasion of the event “Firenze e il Novecento” (Florence and the twentieth century)

Teatro 13 (Florence), Piccolo Teatro Bolognini (Pistoia) – March 2007

title role: leading character Emma Liona (first part)

costumes of the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
set design: Stefano Marras
music: Giuseppe Emanuele Rosselli, Antonino Riccardo Luciani, Eleonora Negri
in the cast: Monica Menchi, Giacomo Rosselli, Paolo Ricchi, Marco Belocchi, Marco Giandomenico, Vanessa Crespina
collaboration: Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze
                          Lyceum Club Internazionale di Firenze
                          Rosselli family
                          Istituto Storico della Resistenza e della Civiltà Contemporanea della Provincia di Pistoia
                          Circolo Fratelli Rosselli, Florence
                          Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
                          Bicocca University, Milan
                          Associazione Genta-Rosselli
                          Bridgeman/Alinari Archives

This historical play was written by Amelia Pincherle Moravia Rosselli, mother of the Rosselli brothers killed for their opposition to fascism. The story is centred on the complex and fascinating figure of Amy Lyon, later known as Emma Hart, wife of the English Ambassador in Naples, and Nelson’s lover, from her debut as a prostitute and model for outstanding artists at the end of the 18th century (George Romney, Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, Tischbein, Angelica Kauffmann, Reynolds, Gavin Hamilton, Thomas Lawrence) to her degeneration and massacres in the Neapolitan revolution, and her folly, passing through her performances for aristocrats at her husband’s, “attitudes” renowned all over Europe for her mutability and magnetism, also described with admiration by Goethe in the diary of his journey as something never seen before (1787), tableaux vivants in which she assumed poses from classical and later art in an endless variety and transformation.


photos of paintings by George Romney © National Portrait Gallery, London
painting by E. Vigée-Le Brun © Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The text was produced during a residency at the Fondazione il Fiore, on the hills surrounding Florence, and the rehearsals of the play were accompanied by recitals of poetry and texts by the creator of the Foundation, Alberto Caramella:

Panorami, Ardori, Teodora (Landscapes, Ardours, Teodora), recital of poetry and monologues by A. Caramella, directed by F. Tarsi for the Eraclito 2000 Association – Royal Victoria Hotel (Pisa) – 26 Feb. 2007

Cartella di Vacanza, Il Soggetto è il Mare (Holiday satchel, The Sea is the subject), recital of poetry by A. Caramella, with the author and Giacomo Rosselli, directed by F. Tarsi, Florence – 18 Dec. 2006


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