IN HER OWN HAND:

OPERAS COMPOSED by WOMEN

 

I broke new ground with my 2003 Harvard exhibit, "In Her Own Hand: Operas Composed by Women 1625-1913" that takes us from the 17th-century Medici court to the opera houses of 19th- and early 20th-century Paris. I then turned that exhibit into a lecture that brought these composers alive for audiences, touring it around New York State as a Speaker in the Humanities for the New York Council for the Humanities. As part of my coursework for my MSLIS at Drexel University, I turned it into a LibGuide, accessible here. Where will it go next? You tell me! 

 

Below are links to recent recordings of a few of the 20+ composers whose names and works appeared in my exhibit. Does music history look or sound different when the focus is on works by women? Click on the images and/or links below to find out!

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Francesca Caccini

La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina

Francesca Caccini was in service to the Medici. Published in 1625, it is considered the first opera composed by a woman.

This recording is by Pro Musica Camerata.

Maria Antonia, Electress of Saxony

Talestri, regina delle amazzoni

This opera was composed by Her Highness around 1760, and received its premiere in 1763, following the Seven Years War that ravaged Saxony. It was published by Breitkopf and Haertel in 1765.

This opening Sinfonia is in three movements, and is played here by the Batzdorfer Hofkapelle.

Louise Bertin

Esmeralda

This work is based on Victor Hugo's "Notre Dame de Paris." A copy of the score to theis 4-act opera can be found at the NY Public Library. Click on Bertin's picture for more informaion.

The recording is by Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Rousillon under the direction of Lawrence Foster.

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