Lecouvreur, Adrienne

Lecouvreur, Adrienne ädrēĕn´ ləko͞ovrör´ [key], 1692–1730, French actress. With Michel Baron she helped change the traditional acting techniques of the French stage to a simpler, more natural style. She was extremely popular from her debut at the Comédie Française in 1717. Her love for Maurice de Saxe ended in tragedy her mysterious death was ascribed to poisoning by her rival, the duchesse de Bouillon. The Church's refusal to grant Lecouvreur a Christian burial resulted in a bitter poem by her friend Voltaire. She is the subject of a play by Scribe and Legouvé and of the opera Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea.

See biography by J. Richtman (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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