BARBARA STROZZI (1619 - 1677)
The adopted daughter of the poet and playwright Giulio Strozzi, himself the illegitimate son of the Venice banker Roberto Strozzi of Florentine origin, Barbara Strozzi was born in Venice and was a pupil of Cavalli. Talented as a singer and composer, she performed regularly at Strozzi’s house for the Accademia degli Unisoni, one of the learned societies of the time, in the meetings of which music played an important part.
Barbara Strozzi left a number of vocal compositions, often settings of words by her father. These include madrigals, cantatas and arias, with the teasing address of The Three Graces to Venus, the amorous Mercé di voi (‘By Your Favour’), and the pseudo-historical Lament of the Marquis de Cinq-Mars (a favourite of Louis XIII who was executed on a charge of treason).