Vestris, Lucia Elizabeth

1797-1856

 

Popular singer, possessing a rich contralto voice of uncommon sweetness. Born in London, though half Italian, her father being Gaetano Bartolozzi, the artist and her grandfather Francesco Bartolozzi, the wellknown engraver. She was given a good education and her voice was trained by Corri. At the age of sixteen she married Armand Vestris, dancer and ballet-master at the King's Theatre, but they separated in less than three years". Her first public appearance was in 1815 as Proserpine in Winter's II Ratto di Proserpina, and she became very popular. The next year she spent the winter in Paris, singing in various theatres. At the Frangais she played Camille in Les Horaces, with Talma as Horace. She reappeared in London in 1820 at Drury Lane, making her greatest English success as Lilla in The Siege of Belgrade. Madame Vistris undertook the management successively of the Olympic, Covent Garden and Lyceum Theatres. She was assisted in this work by Charles Mathews, whom she married in 1838. She died in London.