EMILIO DE' CAVALIERI (1550 - 1602)
A versatile musician, diplomat and courtier, Cavalieri served Cardinal Ferdinando
de' Medici in Rome, accompanying him to Florence when he became Grand Duke.
He played an important part in the celebrations of the Grand Duke's marriage
to Christine of Lorraine and in later diplomatic activity between Florence and
Rome, returning to the latter after what he regarded as the failure, through
interference, of the celebration for the wedding of Maria de Medici and Henri
IV of France.
chiefly remembered for his Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo
(Representation of Soul and Body), reputed to be the earliest surviving
stage-work set to music throughout. This morality was written for the
Oratorians and was seen by leading figures in the Church when it was staged at
the Oratorio del Crocifisso in Rome in 1600. Other claimants to have been the
first to revive what was regarded as the ancient style of reciting in music
include Peri and Caccini, with both of whom Cavalieri had worked in Florence.