Francesco Rasi (14 May 1574 – 30 November 1621) was an Italian composer, singer (tenor), chitarrone player, and poet.
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 A♭2 (two A♭s 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 .
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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Pietro Marc'Antonio Cesti, known today primarily as an Italian composer of the Baroque era, was also a singer (tenor), and organist. He was "the most celebrated Italian musician of his generation".
Francesco Giuseppe Baldassare Morlacchi was an Italian composer of more than twenty operas. During the many years he spent as the royal Royal Kapellmeister in Dresden, he was instrumental in popularizing the Italian style of opera.
Euridice is an opera by Jacopo Peri, with additional music by Giulio Caccini. It is the earliest surviving opera, Peri's earlier Dafne being lost. The libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini is based on books X and XI of Ovid's Metamorphoses which recount the story of the legendary musician Orpheus and his wife Euridice.
Settimia Caccini was a well-known Italian singer and composer during the 1600s being one of the first women to have a successful career in music. Caccini was highly regarded for her artistic and technical work with music. She came from a family of well-known composers and singers, with her father being Giulio Caccini and her sister Francesca Caccini. Caccini was less well-known because she never published any of her own music composed pieces of music. Instead she was known much more for her talent as a singer, who sang for nobility across Italy. It is thought that she did compose her own music but instead of publishing and releasing it to be performed instead she kept it for herself to perform in private. One of her pieces was eventually published posthumously. Coming from a musical family, she was able to lead herself to her own fame and success.
La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina is a comic opera in four scenes by Francesca Caccini, first performed 3 February 1625 at the Villa di Poggio Imperiale in Florence, with a libretto by Ferdinando Saracinelli based on Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. It is the first opera written by a woman and was long considered to be the first Italian opera to be performed outside of Italy. It was performed to celebrate the visit of Prince Władysław of Poland during Carnival 1625, and it was revived in Warsaw in 1628. The work was commissioned by her employer Regent Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria, wife of Cosimo II de' Medici. Ruggiero was printed under the protection of Maria Magdalena in 1625, only five years after the first printed opera in Italy. It is the only opera by Francesca Caccini to survive.
Vittoria Archilei was an Italian singer, dancer, and lutenist. She was born Vittoria Concarini, but in 1582 married Antonio Archilei, a composer and lutenist. She was in the service of Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, along with Emilio de' Cavalieri, who was her mentor. In 1588 she went with her husband and Cavalieri to the Medici court in Florence, where she became "one of the most famous singers of her time" (Grove). She is recorded as singing at many court entertainments and weddings up until 1620, and was in the service of the Medici her whole career. Many composers wrote for her, including Sebastian Raval and Luca Marenzio, as well as, of course, her husband and Cavalieri.
Vittorio Baldini was an Italian printer and engraver. He started publishing in Venice, where he was born, and later moved to Ferrara, joining the court of Duke Alfonso II d'Este in mid-to-late 1582, where he was the official ducal music printer. He may have met the duke through Giulio Cesare Brancaccio, whose translation and commentary on Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico Baldini printed in early 1582.
Viola bastarda refers to a highly virtuosic style of composition or extemporaneous performance, as well as to the altered viols created to maximize players' ability to play in this style. In the viola bastarda style, a polyphonic composition is reduced to a single line, while maintaining the same range as the original, and adding divisions, improvisations, and new counterpoint. The style flourished in Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Francesco Rognoni, a prominent composer of divisions, stated that although works using the bastarda techniques could be played by a number of instruments, including organ, lute, and harp, the "queen" of bastarda technique was the viol because of its agility and large range.
Charles R. Adams was an American opera singer and singing instructor. An excellent tenor and fine actor, he had a commanding stage presence and was particularly admired for his interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner.
Adriana Basile was an Italian composer and singer.
Valeriano Pellegrini was an Italian soprano castrato singer of the 18th century. He is largely remembered today for his association with the composer George Frideric Handel, whom he sang for in Italy and then later followed to London. He sang the role of Nero in Handel's opera Agrippina at the work's initial run in Venice, a part which demanded a high level of technical skill.
L'Arianna, composed in 1607–1608, was the second opera by Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi. One of the earliest operas in general, it was first performed on 28 May 1608, as part of the musical festivities for a royal wedding at the court of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga in Mantua. All the music is lost apart from the extended recitative known as "Lamento d'Arianna". The libretto, which survives complete, was written in eight scenes by Ottavio Rinuccini, who used Ovid's Heroides and other classical sources to relate the story of Ariadne's abandonment by Theseus on the island of Naxos and her subsequent elevation as bride to the god Bacchus.
Vito Giuseppe Millico, called "Il Moscovita", was an Italian soprano castrato, composer, and music teacher of the 18th century who is best remembered for his performances in the operas of Christoph Willibald Gluck.
Francesco Rovigo was an Italian composer and organist of the late Renaissance, active in Mantua and Graz.
Giuseppe Cremonini was an Italian operatic tenor who had a prominent opera career in Europe and the United States during the last decade of the nineteenth century.
Baritenor is a portmanteau (blend) of the words "baritone" and "tenor". It is used to describe both baritone and tenor voices. In Webster's Third New International Dictionary it is defined as "a baritone singing voice with virtually a tenor range". However, the term was defined in several late 19th century and early 20th century music dictionaries, such as The American History and Encyclopedia of Music, as "a low tenor voice, almost barytone" [sic].
Il rapimento di Cefalo was one of the first Italian operas. Most of the music was written by Giulio Caccini but Stefano Venturi del Nibbio, Luca Bati and Piero Strozzi also contributed. The libretto, by Gabriello Chiabrera, is in a prologue, five scenes and an epilogue and is based on the Classical myth of Cephalus and Aurora.
Annibale Pio Fabri was an Italian composer and singer of the 18th century. One of the leading tenors of his age in a time dominated by the castrati, Fabri is now best known for his association with the composer George Frideric Handel, in whose operas Fabri sang.
Giovanni Gualberto Magli was an Italian castrato who had an active singing career during the first quarter of the 17th century. Born in Florence, he studied voice with Giulio Caccini before becoming a musician for the House of Medici on 23 August 1604. He participated in the world premiere of Claudio Monteverdi's L'Orfeo in 1607 at the court of Prince Francesco IV Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, portraying the roles of La Musica and Proserpina and possibly one other part. The musicologist and historian Hans Redlich mistakenly allocates Magli to the role of Orfeo. In 1608 he sang for the wedding festivities of Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria. In October 1611 he was granted two years paid leave by Antonio de' Medici to pursue further studies in Naples. He left Medici service in 1615 to join the musicians at the court of John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg. He remained there until September 1622. He was buried in Florence on 8 January 1625.