Maria Silfvan Actor
Maria Elisabeth Silfvan, as married Lempke and then Westerlund, in Swedish called Maria Sylvan, (25 March 1802 in Turku – 10 September 1865 in Oulu), was a Finnish actor, among the first professional native actors in Finland. Maria Silfvan was born in Turku and was to become one of the most known native actors in Finland in the first half of the 19th century, and could be regarded as Finland's first dramatic prima donna. In Finland, there was no real theatres and no native actors in the beginning of the 19th century; theatre was played by travelling Swedish theatre troupes touring the country. Between 1813 and 1827, the first theatre was run in Turku by the troupe of K.G. Bonnevier, who had attained a permission from the Russian emperor, and built a simple theatre house in the city. She was discovered when selling tickets and candy to the visitors of the theatre, Silfvan was hired in this troupe, and was seen as a natural dramatic talent. In 1825, she played the leading part in Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart (play) opposite Inga Åberg as Elizabeth Tudor. In 1825, she married the actor Evert Lempke and with him employed at the troupes of A.P. Berggren and then K.V. Westerlund.