Giulio Caccini


Italian composer and singer. Caccini was born in Rome, but at an early age he was taken to Florence as a singer. He was a member of Bardi's Camerata in the 1570s and the 1580s. In 1600 he was involved in providing music for the wedding festivities for Maria de'Medici and Henry IV of France.
His setting of Chiabrera's Il rapimento di Cefalo was the main event, and was less of an opera than a large intermedio (see intermedi). He also provided some music for Peri's opera Euridice, and then made a hurried setting all of his own in order to publish it before Peri.
Caccini claimed to have invented the recitiative style which had made opera possible, although he did not write any recitative for the stage until 1600 (after Peri's Dafne), and although his style was different to that used by other composers before and after him. Perhaps Caccini's real contribution was to develop a style of singing, and to train the singers, used in the earliest operas.