Rinuccini, Ottavio , great Italian poet and librettist; b. Florence, Jan. 20, 1562; d. there, March 28, 1621. He was born into a family of the nobility and became a prominent courtier. He commenced writing verses for court entertainments about 1579, and was also active in the Accademia Fiorentina and the Accademia degli Alterati, taking the name “II Sonnacchioso” (“the somnolent one”). He collaborated with Bardi in preparing intermedi for the wedding of the Grand Duke Ferdi-nando I (1589). Corsi and Peri then set his pastoral Dafne to music, which work is generally recognized as the first opera in the monodie style (Florence, 1598). Rinuccini’s Euridice, with music by Peri, was performed in 1600, and another setting, by Caccini, in 1602. He also wrote the libretto of Monteverdi’s Arianna (1608). These texts were republ. by A. Solerti in vol. II of Gli albori del melodramma (Milan, 1905) and by A. Della Corte, Drammi per musica dal Rinuccini allo Zeno (Turin, 1958).
F. Meda, O. R. (Milan, 1894); A. Civita, O. R. ed il sorgere del melodramma in Italia (Mantua, 1900); F. Raccamadoro Ramelli, O. R.: Studio biografico e critico (Fabriano, 1900); A. Solerti, Le origini del melodramma (Turin, 1903); A. Della Corte, O. R. librettista (Turin, 1925); M. Schild, Die Musikdramen O. R.s (Würzburg, 1933).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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