Caccini’s Stages: Identity and Performance Space in the Late Cinquecento Court


in The Music Room in Early Modern France and Italy

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265055
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754166 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Caccini’s Stages: Identity and Performance Space in the Late Cinquecento Court

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Celebrated performer Giulio Caccini's life as a court musician throws light on the ways in which the soloist formulated and reformulated his/her own identity in order to fit within each of the spaces used for music. Tracing the documented performances associated with Caccini, one can map them onto a continuum of spaces from the most public to the most private. Caccini's successful passage into the more intimate spaces required him to re-form himself as the inheritor of the century-old tradition of the intimate vocal improvvisatori, a stylistic and physical transformation that was, in a sense, his life's work. This performative conception of his musical work is a potent reminder of the ambiguous status of solo song at the beginning of the Seicento, perched between the abstract space of the printed score and the traditional space of the court chamber.

Keywords: court; singer; performance; Caccini; Italy; improvisation; musician

Chapter.  5667 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Opera

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