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Opera Part Two: History!

More specifically, we are talking about the infamous Medici Family. The Medici family is one of the most well known patrons of Opera, and helped develop the art form in 16th C Italy. As the Renaissance began in Italy, the Medici family governed the cultural capital Florence, thriving with wealth and political power well into the 17th C. Because of this wealth and influence, the Medici family was able to support the arts and become important patrons of Opera composers, singers, and musicians. As mentioned before, the Medici Family’s support developed the art form of Opera as we know it today. The family hired some of the most talented composers of the time, including Jacopo Peri, Giulio Caccini, and Claudio Monterverdi. Jacopo Peri’s most famous composition includes the earliest known opera composed to this day: Euridice. If you’re interested in listening to a recording of Euridice, you will find it below. However, the Medici Family did not just hire musicians and artists, they built work spaces and housing for them too. The Medici Family played a key role in building the first Opera house in history, the Teatro degli Uffizi, in Florence in 1590! Without the Medici Family, the world of Opera as we know it today might not exist. They played a vital role in the history of Opera, and their legacy has lasted well into the present day. Thanks to the Medici family, we have a lasting traditional music form that impacts millions globally to this day! If you’re interested in learning more about the Medici Family, consider watching the video links attached below! If you’re interested in learning more about Jacopo Peri, the composer of the oldest known Opera, check out the sources listed here! Sources: Abbate, C., & Parker, R. (2015). A history of opera. W.W. Norton & Company. A brief history of opera. San Francisco Opera. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2023, from Carter, T., & Goldthwaite, R. A. (2013). Orpheus in the marketplace: Jacopo Peri and the economy of late Renaissance Florence. Harvard University Press. Music and the Medici. The Medici Archive Project. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2023, from University of Illonois. (2012, June 14). L'Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, original version, complete. YouTube. Retrieved April 4, 2023, from
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