Eva Säfström was an actor and a singer in Stockholm.
Eva Christina Säfström and her twin sister Eleonora Säfström were born in Stockholm in 1770. Their parents were Johan Fredrik Säfström, a factory inspector, and Brita Christina Lindholm. The sisters grew up in Stockholm and they both began their careers as members of the choir at Kungliga Teatern (now Kungliga Operan). A mademoiselle Säfström is already listed in 1985 in Kongl. Svenska Theaterns Almanach för 1785 amongst those receiving a salary in the choir. It is impossible to tell which of the twin sisters this referred to. The following year both sisters appear but for the period of 1787–1789 only Eva Säfström is noted. Her twin had at that point decided to transfer to the Stenborg theatre. Eva Säfström was at this time appearing on both stages. She apparently remained at the opera until 1794, and was at Stenborg theatre for the same length of time.
In 1787 she joined Antonio Bartolomeo Spinacuta’s troupe of actors and went on tour with them. Many of these travelling actors were employed at the Stenborg theatre so Eva Säfström must have already been acquainted with and possibly even working for Stenborg. Spinacuta, as he tended to be known, was a Venetian who had performed on Stenborg’s stage at Eriksbergsteatern in 1783. His talents included being a ballet dancer, a tightrope walker, a singer, a musician, an actor and a mime artist. One of the places that the travelling troupe performed at was Spektakelhuset in Gävle, which put on a production of the tragedy called Beverlei where the two lead roles were played by Spinacuta’s wife Helena Spinacuta and Johan Petter Lindskog.
Eva Säfström made her debut at the Stenborg Teater in 1788 when she appeared in Charles Simon Favart’s operetta entitled Bajocco och Serpilla, translated by Carl Envallsson. She and her twin sister – who was playing the lead role – both appeared in this production. Eva Säfström does not seem to have particularly excelled or have gained particular attention from the audience, although she seems to have been a reliable actor.
At some point between 1794 and 1796 Eva Säfström moved to Ystad. She had presumably already met the man she would marry, namely Vilhelm Ludvig von Kaulbars, a captain in the cavalry in the Mörnerska husarregementet. The couple had a daughter, born in June 1796, and in 1800 they are registered as living in the same household. In 1802 their son was born. It was not until April 1820, however, that the couple got married. There are several potential reasons for such a late marriage, but Eva Säfström’s experience of living with a man and bearing him children whilst not married to him was common to many female actors at that time. Ludvig von Kaulbars had apparently promised to marry another woman and it was not until Lund cathedral chapter released him from that promise that he could marry Eva Säfström. He died just a year later. Eva Säfström’s sister, who had already been living in Ystad for some time, then moved in with her twin and they lived together until Eva Säfström’s death in 1831.