Caccini, Francesca fränchĕs´kä kät-chē´nē [key] b. 1587, d. after 1641, Italian composer and singer, known as La Cecchina; daughter of Giulio Caccini. For most of her career she was a musician and music teacher at the Medici court in Tuscany. She is noted for her Il primo libro delle musiche (1618, The First Book of Music), consisting of sacred and secular songs, in Italian and Latin. She wrote music for a number of staged works, most of which are lost. Her only complete work extant is La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina (The Liberation of Ruggiero from Alcina's Island, 1625), adapted from Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and thought to be the first opera written by a woman as well as the first Italian opera performed outside Italy.
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