Commedia Characters: The Innamorati
In honor of Valentine’s day, we examine the innamorati (the lovers)
The Commedia lovers were the only unmasked characters in the show. They were the plot engines behind the stories. Typically their story was what drove the father characters to war ; the zanni characters to create all kinds of crazy plots and tricks, and when all else failed, their joining is what would constitute the happy ending of the play.
Although it would be easy to think of them as ingenues and “Straight men”– they were as comic and as flawed as any of the other characters. They were in love with being in love, vain, thoughtless, changed emotions on a whim, and could be cruel and callous while professing the most profound of loves. Wearing fashionable styles to the point of excess, heavily made up, some of the young lovers were not so young. Flaminio Scala was reported to have played his character until he was 73!
A couple of good explanations and discussions of the Lovers online:
A video from an Antonio Fava class from 2007 featuring Servants and Lovers. You can see some of the mask work that I talked about in yesterday’s post: about Animating the Inanimate.