Another Ariana Grande: discover the charm of Francesca Caccini, the first woman who wrote an opera


It was acclaimed by all. Appreciated, praised. Especially for his skill in singing (a soprano), his skills on the harpsichord and the lute, and his poems in Italian and Latin. This is the florentine Francesca Caccini (called Cecchina), the daughter of composer Giulio Caccini, without a doubt, one of the most important women in the field of renaissance music. If you’ve never heard of it, is serious. If you’ve never listened to one of his compositions, even worse.

Born in Florence in the FIFTEENTH century, received a good education (he learned a bit of Greek, mathematics and modern languages), but on the impulse of the father, he devoted himself along with the rest of the family to the music (then they used to as well. To our times have done so only to Jackson, the results are ambivalent).

The Caccini gave life to a musical ensemble, known at the time as “le donne di Giulio Romano”, which soon became famous, especially in the florentine aristocracy. Cecchina had no problems, therefore, to be made known to the court. His career in the environments of the medici was swift and had become the highest-paid singer of all: you said as a teacher, singer, room, trainer (then you said) and composer until at least 1627. It was the demonstration, also artistic, of the excellence of the female so much praised by the duchess Christina of Lorraine.

What is more, the marked was his prolificacy: chamber music, from the stage melodramas. Composed poems of Michelangelo (not a librettist whatever), he wrote songs and duets, contributing in a fundamental way to the development of the Italian baroque style.

She remains a little, but that little is important: the comedy-ballet “The liberation of Ruggiero from the island of Alcina” written to honor the visit of the crown prince of the Polish Ladislaus Sigismund, it is the work (if you can call it that) the most ancient written by a woman. It is intense, clever, and rich, you can find innovative. Liked it very much.

He married twice, first with a fellow musician, then with a noble of lucca, and was twice a widow. At that point he returned to Florence, began to work by the doctors (he taught and wrote), up to 1641, the year in which he left the house in florence. From that moment historians have no more traces of its later life..