Francesco Rasi

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Francesco Rasi (14 May 1574 – 30 November 1621) was an Italian composer, singer (tenor), chitarrone player, and poet.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Tenor is a male voice type in classical music whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone. The tenor's vocal range extends up to C5. The low extreme for tenors is roughly A2 (two As below middle C). At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to the second F above middle C (F5). The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.

Rasi was born in Arezzo. He studied at the University of Pisa and in 1594 he was studying with Giulio Caccini. He may have been in Carlo Gesualdo's retinue when he went to Ferrara for his wedding in 1594. In 1598 he joined the court of Duke Vincent I in Mantua, and probably served the Gonzaga family the rest of his life, with whom he travelled all over Italy and as far afield as Poland. He sang in the first performances of Jacopo Peri's Euridice and Caccini's Il rapimento di Cefalo in 1600. In 1607 he created the title role in Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo , and in 1608 sang in the first performances of Marco da Gagliano's La Dafne . [1]

Arezzo Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Arezzo is a city and comune in Italy and the capital of the province of the same name located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 kilometres southeast of Florence at an elevation of 296 metres (971 ft) above sea level. It is also 30 km west of Città di Castello. In 2013 the population was about 99,000.

University of Pisa Italian public research university located in Pisa

The University of Pisa is an Italian public research university located in Pisa, Italy. It was founded in 1343 by an edict of Pope Clement VI. It is the 19th oldest extant university in the world and the 10th oldest in Italy. The university is ranked within the top 10 nationally and the top 400 in the world according to the ARWU and the QS. It houses the Orto botanico di Pisa, Europe's oldest academic botanical garden, which was founded in 1544.

Giulio Caccini Italian composer

Giulio Romolo Caccini, was an Italian composer, teacher, singer, instrumentalist and writer of the very late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. He was one of the founders of the genre of opera, and one of the most influential creators of the new Baroque style. He was also the father of the composer Francesca Caccini and the singer Settimia Caccini.

In 1610 in Tuscany Rasi and his accomplices were sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered for the murder of his stepmother's servant and the attempted murder of his stepmother; however because of the protection of the Gonzaga family he escaped, and his sentence was eventually annulled with the agreement that he never return to Arezzo, his birthplace. [1]

Tuscany Region of Italy

Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).

He wrote an opera, Cibele, ed Ati, which seems not to have been performed and whose music does not survive, and another libretto, Elvidia rapita. He published poetry, including in the anthology La cetra di sette corde, and a good deal of monody which survives in the anthologies Vaghezze di musica (1608) and Madrigali (1610). Almost all of these are written for tenor voice, suggesting that they were written to display Rasi's own skill as a singer, and they follow in the style of Caccini's compositions. [2]

Libretto text used for an extended musical work

A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.


In poetry, the term monody has become specialized to refer to a poem in which one person laments another's death.

Rasi was a well-respected singer, whose skill in ornamentation and diminution, beautiful voice, and ability to sing with grace and feeling, led to him being involved in the first performances of many of the first operas. [2]

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 Porter
  2. 1 2 Parisi


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