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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Francesca Caccini

b. 1587, Florence, Italy; d. after 1641, Florence (?), Italy

Francesca Caccini was born to composer and musician Giulio Caccini. She received a musical education as a child and began performing as a singer and instrumentalist, her first recorded public appearance being in 1600 at the marriage of Henry IV and Marie de Medici. For two decades, from 1607 to 1627, Francesca served as a singer, composer, and teacher at the Medici court. The first of her five operas, La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (1625), was the first opera composed by a woman and also the first Italian opera to be performed outside of Italy.