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Talk by Julie Robarts in Barbara Strozzi composer and musician, and Margherita Costa, writer and singer: Women making the Italian Baroque in mid-seventeenth century Venice and Florence.

Monday 6 May 2024 at 6.30 p.m

From my work in progress, this talk in English will introduce two of the most prolific and successful cultural producers of the seventeenth century. The Venetian composer, musician and singer Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677) was born into a Venetian branch of the exiled Florentine Strozzi family, and produced eight printed collections of vocal music, dedicating one to Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. Roman author and virtuosa singer, Margherita Costa (c.1600–after 1657) became the most published woman on the Italian peninsular in the seventeenth century. Supported by members of the Medici in Florence, and other powerful patrons in Rome, Paris, Savoy and Brunswick-Lüneburg, she produced fourteen printed books including love poetry, burlesque and risqué love letters, a comedy and opera libretti. We will learn about the complex social conditions women navigated in this period to produce their cultural work. We will also explore documents, literary sources, and contexts of musical and poetic performance revealing the ways that women and men co-created the Italian Baroque.

Bio: Dr Julie Robarts is a literary and cultural historian of Renaissance and Baroque Italy, researching gender in the production and performance of poetry and music. She is an honorary (Fellow) in Italian Studies at the University of Melbourne. In 2024 she holds the AEUIFAI Postdoctoral Fellowship, European University Institute, Fiesole and study residency at Il Palmerino in winter spring 2024


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