Francesca Caccini (1587–1640) was a singer, composer, and teacher who spent much of her life working for the court of the Grand-Duke of Tuscany. While many of her works were lost following her death, several are still known and loved today. Let’s look at her opera La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina, written in honor of the future Polish king’s visit to Florence in 1625.
Opera was in an early, experimental form at this point in history, and it’s impressive to see a woman composer tackling a new and complex genre! The future Polish king was so impressed by Caccini’s work that he requested it be performed in Poland, making it the first Italian opera to be performed there!
Next week, we look at the talented singer and composer, Barbara Strozzi.