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    A Feminist Icon: Celebrating the Life and Work of Isabella Andreini and the Commedia dell’arte in Renaissance Italy

    Halton, Jennifer (2008) A Feminist Icon: Celebrating the Life and Work of Isabella Andreini and the Commedia dell’arte in Renaissance Italy. Maynooth Musicology: Postgraduate Journal, 1. pp. 78-98.

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    The late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries brought a wave of opportunity for the female Italian musician. The role of women in society served as a frequent discourse, as their male counterparts decided whether or not their duties should extend outside the domestic realm. Male humanists presented their habitual hostility towards the musical education of women, while the more sensitive and perceptive patrons; like Duke Alfonso d’Este of the court of Ferrara, were in full appreciation of the musical affluence of women musicians.1 Despite this looming conflict, ‘more women emerged as composers in Italy between 1566 and 1700 than in any previous period in Western music history- indeed, than in all of that history taken together’.2 Emerging from this group were the virtuoso musician-composers Barbara Strozzi (1619-1664), Francesca Caccini (1587-C1640), Gaspara Stampa (1523-1554), and Madalena Casulana (01540-01590), all of whom have been justly projected into the canon of music and literature. However, hidden among these successful women is the incredibly talented but historically forgotten musician Isabella Andreini (1562-1604). Andreini rose above the gender discourses in her society and realized her own renaissance through her commendable achievements. As a Commedia dell’arte actress, Andreini’s role certainly extended past the domestic realm and into that of performance. As the co-director of the renowned company Compagnie dei Gelosi, of which music was a regular feature, she both acted in and wrote many of her own plays, two of which this paper will discuss.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Feminist; Icon; Celebrating; Life and Work; Isabella Andreini; Commedia dell’arte; Renaissance; Italy; Maynooth Musicology;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > Music
    Item ID: 9457
    Depositing User: IR Editor
    Date Deposited: 08 May 2018 15:58
    Journal or Publication Title: Maynooth Musicology: Postgraduate Journal
    Publisher: Maynooth Musicology
    Refereed: Yes

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