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Francesca Caccini

Francesca Caccini

Francesa and Settimia Caccini grew up performing for the Medici family as singers in Il Concerto Caccini with their father, Giulio Caccini (a pioneer of monophonic music), their stepmother Margherita and their brother Pompeo. As adults, the daughters went their separate ways, each establishing a musical career in different parts of Italy. Settimia was primarily admired as a singer, but a few of her compositions were published in collections of works by assorted composers of the period. Francesca worked for many years at the Medici court as a composer, performer, arranger and coach. She was the highest-paid musician at the court, a testament to her ability. Her “comedy- ballet” La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola is widely considered to be the first opera entirely composed by a woman. She also contributed music to approximately sixteen other operatic works. Francesca published a book of her songs, Il primo libro delle musiche, in 1618. For most of the songs, she composed her own lyrics.

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