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A contemporary of Shakespeare and Monteverdi, and a colleague of Galileo and Artemisia Gentileschi at the Medici court, Francesca Caccini was a dominant musical figure there for thirty years. Dazzling listeners with the transformative power of her performances and the sparkling wit of the music she composed 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 composer established a fully professional musical career at a time when virtually no other women were able to achieve comparable success.
Suzanne G. 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 theory, 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.
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.
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Catharine R. Stimpson is University Professor and dean emerita of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University. She is the founding editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and the author or editor of many books.Review:
“In Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court, Suzanne Cusick not only sheds light on the life and context of this exceptional woman, but unravels much of what we thought we knew about court patronage and aesthetic debates in general at this time. Few scholars reconstructing the history of women in music do so with Cusick’s sophistication or with her sensitivity to the relevance of women’s experiences to the cultural landscape itself. A brilliant contribution.”(Susan McClary, University of California, Los Angeles)
“Suzanne Cusick makes an outstanding contribution to the study of music in early seventeenth-century Florence and of women’s musical and other lives. Her sensitive and subtle readings of Francesca Caccini’s music both reinforce her narrative and provide various counterpoints in ways that force us to rethink how we might view songs of this period. This riveting book will radically transform the ways in which all of us approach topics of this kind.” —Tim Carter, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill(Tim Carter, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
“This is an extraordinarily original, painstakingly researched, and fascinating book. It is obviously the fruit of Suzanne Cusick’s long and passionate interest in her topic and represents a truly monumental achievement. It will inspire readers and performers for a long time to come.”(Ellen Rosand, Yale University)
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Book Description University Of Chicago Press, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. 1. Seller Inventory # DADAX0226132129
Book Description University of Chicago Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0226132129 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0987780
Book Description University of Chicago Press, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0226132129