Front cover image for Francesca Caccini at the Medici court : music and the circulation of power

Francesca Caccini at the Medici court : music and the circulation of power

A contemporary of Shakespeare and Monteverdi, and a colleague of Galileo and Artemisia Gentileschi at the Medici court, Francesca Caccini was a dominant figure of musical life in Florence for thirty years. Dazzling listeners with the transformative power of her performances and the sparkling wit of the music that she wrote for more than a dozen court theatricals, Caccini is best remembered today as the first woman to have composed opera. Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court reveals, for the first time, how this multitalented woman established a fully professional musical career at a time when virtually no other women were able to achieve comparable success. Suzanne Cusick argues that Caccini's career depended on the usefulness of her talents to the political agenda of Grand Duchess Christine de Lorraine, Tuscany's de facto regent from 1606 to 1636. Drawing on Classical and feminist theories of performance, performativity, and embodiment to interpret Caccini's surviving music and accounts of her performances, Cusick shows how the music Caccini made for the Medici court sustained the culture that enabled Christine's power, thereby also supporting the sexual and political aims of its women. A CD of rare recorded samples of Caccini's oeuvre, specially prepared, further enhances this long-awaited study. In bringing Caccini's surprising story so vividly to life, Cusick ultimately illuminates how music making functioned in early modern Italy as a significant medium for the circulation of power. --From book jacket
Print Book, English, 2009
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2009
xxxvi, 445 pages : illustrations, music ; 27 cm + 1 audio disc (digital ; 4 3/4 in.).
9780226132129, 0226132129
Figliuola del celebratissimo Giulio Romano
"To win the girl"; or, Francesca as object of desire
Power, desire, and women among themselves
Musica to the Granducato
Who was this woman?
Voice lessons : introducing the Primo libro delle musiche
Being, doing, and allegories of voice
After Arianna
La liberazione di Ruggiero amid the politics of regency
Performance, musical design, and politics in La liberazione di Ruggiero
Cataclysms of widowhood
Afterlives. On CD: Ardo infelice, e palesar non tento, stanza 1
Maria, dolce Maria
Ecco, ch'io verso il sangue
Lasciatemi qui solo
O che nuovo stupor, stanza 1
Rendi alle mie speranze il verde, e fiori
Haec dies
Chi desia di saper che cosa è amore
Se muove a giurar fede
Ferma, ferma crudele
Deh, se non hai pietà del mio languire
Final 2 selections on CD are from La liberazione di Ruggiero; all other selections are from Il primo libro; all are by Francesca Caccini
Performers on CD: Emily van Evera, soprano ; Eric Milnes, harpsichord ; Andrew Parrott, organ ; Maria Cleary, double harp ; Fredrik Bok, theorbo and baroque guitar ; Erin Headley, lirone and viol ; Adrian Butterfield, baroque violin ; Mélisande Corriveau, viol. Publisher description