Francesca Caccini

  • Born: Florence, Italy, 18 September 1587
  • Died: Florence, Italy, 1640

Caccini was the first woman opera composer, and (possibly) the writer of the first opera to be performed outside Italy.

Caccini, nicknamed “La Cecchina” (“Songbird”), came from a musical family; a virtuosa singer, she appeared in her father Giulio Caccini and Jacopo Peri’s Euridice (1600), the earliest surviving opera.

Caccini, the highest paid musician in the Medici court in the 1620s, was a talented woman.  She played the guitar, lute, harp, theorbo, and keyboard; taught singing, instrumental performance, and composition; wrote poetry in Italian and Latin; and was a friend of scientists and thinkers like Galileo.

(For more information, see herehere, and here.)


  1. La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (1625) ***