Lopez, Sabatino

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LOPEZ, SABATINO (1867–1951), Italian playwright, critic and novelist. Born in Leghorn, Lopez spent some years as a teacher before devoting himself to the theater and dramatic criticism. A playwright of Italy's realistic school, he wrote about 70 plays, including such successful comedies as La buona figliola (1909), La nostra pelle (1912), Il brutto e le belle (pub. 1913), Parodi … C. (1925), and La Signora Rosa (1928). Faithful to Italian theatrical tradition, Lopez was essentially an actor's writer, and his plays are full of scintillating dialogue. In the earlier ones, where the emphasis is on drama, he relied on French realistic fiction and Italian verismo; his mature works incline to satire and ironic, though superficial, criticism of late 19th-century bourgeois morals, the irony and comedy skillfully balanced by humane sentimentality. Lopez also wrote some plays in collaboration with other writers, a book of memoirs, S'io rinascessi (1950), and stories of stage life, Le Loro Maest (1920). Between 1911 and 1919 he directed the Italian writers' guild. Lopez took an active part in Jewish communal life andwas for many years the chairman of the Zionist Organization in Milan. The historian Robert Sabatino *Lopez was his son. Another son was guido lopez (1924– ), journalist and author. He was editor of the literary section of the weekly Epoca and wrote the novels Il Campo (1948) and La prova del nove (1953) and a popular guidebook to Milan, Milano in mano (1965). He also published several documents relating to his father's literary activity.


L. Tonelli, Sabatino Lopez (It., 1920); S. D'Amico, Il teatro italiano… (1932), 184–7; B. Curato, Sessant'anni di teatro in Italia (1947), 156–61; I. Sanesi, La Commedia, 2 (1944), passim; G. Pullini, Teatro italiano fra due secoli (1958), passim; Ghilardi, in: Il Dramma (1967), nos. 371–2, 27–43; Levi, in: rmi, 34 (1968), 131–7; Enciclopedia dello spettacolo, 6 (1959), s.v.Add. Bibliography: McGraw-Hill, Encyclopedia of World Drama, 1972, 3, s.v.; G. Lopez, "Federico De Roberto e Sabatino Lopez cent'anni fa," in: Belfagor (1997), 52:3, 332–40.

[Giorgio Romano]

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