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BLAND, MARIA THERESA (née Romanzini):

English actress and singer; born in 1769 of Italian-Jewish parents; died at London Jan. 15, 1838. When only four years old she took a part in a performance at Hughes' Riding School, London. After studying for some years she made her reentry at Drury Lane Oct. 24, 1786, where she was so successful that she became leading lady in succession to Mrs. Wrighten. Her best rôle at this time was that of Antonio in Grétry's "Richard Cœur-de-Lion." In 1789 Maria Theresa played in Liverpool, returning to London a year later, when (Oct. 21, 1790) she was married to Mr. Bland, brother of Mrs. Jordan of Drury Lane. The following year she sang at the Haymarket in "Inkle and Yarico." Subsequently she appeared as Miss Notable in "Lady's Last Stake"; Nina in "The Prisoner"; Mary Ann in "School for Guardians"; Madelon in "Surrender of Calais," and Sally in "The Shipwreck." Her mind began to fail in 1824, and she was forced to retire, her last appearance being at her benefit at Drury Lane July 5, 1824.

Bibliography:
  • Anglo-Jewish Exhibition Catalogue, p. 56, 1887;
  • British Theatrical Gallery;
  • Thespian Dictionary, s.v.
J. E. Ms.
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