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Ettore Petrolini

Ettore Petrolini (13 January 1884 – 29 June 1936) was an Italian stage and film actor, playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He is considered one of the most important figures of avanspettacolo, vaudeville and revue. He was noted for his numerous caricature sketches, and was the "inventor of a revolutionary and anticonformist way of performing". Petrolini is also remembered for having created the Dadaist character Fortunello. His contribution to the history of Italian theater is now widely acknowledged, especially with regard to his influence on 20th century comedy. His iconic character Gastone became a byword in Italian for a certain type of stagey snob. His satirical caricature of the Roman Emperor Nero (created in 1917 and later the subject of a 1930 film) was widely perceived as a parody of Benito Mussolini, although it may itself have influenced the mannerisms of the Fascist dictator.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1884 (Rome), Died 1936 (Rome)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1923 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, author, composer, lyricist, vocalist


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
OKeh S-71873 10-in. Sept. 1923 'Er Sor Capanna Renzo Todini Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist, composer  
Gramophone BF1516 10-in. 2/4/1928 Scenette balneari Compagnia Ettore Petrolini Comic sketch, with singing and instrumental ensemble leader, author  
Gramophone BF1517 10-in. 2/4/1938 Teopompo ai bagni Compagnia Ettore Petrolini Comic sketch, with singing and instrumental ensemble leader, author  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Petrolini, Ettore," accessed May 16, 2021,

Petrolini, Ettore. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 16, 2021, from

"Petrolini, Ettore." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 16 May 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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