Francesca Caccini (1587-ca1641) Italian composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire – in addition, her education in languages and humanities was top notch for the time. She started her artistic path in the late renaissance and co-led the development into the early baroque, and contributed to pushing the musical dramas of the time into the genre of opera. She was the highest paid musician at the Medici court. Prior to her employment she toured Europe with the renaissance prequel to Jackson Five: the family band led by dad Giulio Caccini, also famous composer and musician. Together with her siblings (most notably, her sister Settima Caccini who also is remembered as a prominent composer today) she performed before most kings in Europe, including the Polish king/Swedish prince Wladyslaw Vasa who heard the première of the below mentioned La Liberazione.
My favourite piece of all times is her Ciaconna (link below).
Explore one of 30-ish songs from her publication Il primo libre delle musiche. This book is by the way a double treasure thanks to the fact that she has noted ornaments used in the period. Go study!
FOR BIGGER OCCASIONS
Feminist (?some writers claim) stage play (opera?) La Liberazione di Ruggiero, which in her days was staged many times in different countries. She probably wrote about fifteen more operas, but they have not yet been found. Exciting prospect 🙂