Strozzi, Barbara [Valle, Barbara]
- Ellen Rosand
- and Beth L. Glixon
(b Venice, 1619; d Padua, Nov 11, 1677). Italian composer and singer, adopted (possibly illegitimate) daughter of Giulio Strozzi. She was sometimes referred to by him as Barbara Valle; by 1650 she was his sole heir. Her mother was Isabella Garzoni, called ‘la Greghetta’, Strozzi’s longtime servant. Barbara was a pupil of Francesco Cavalli and the dedicatee of two volumes of solo songs by Nicolò Fontei, the Bizzarrie poetiche of 1635 and 1636, for which Giulio Strozzi wrote most of the texts, and which Barbara sang at his home in the presence of various Venetian letterati. Her performances were institutionalized in 1637 when Giulio founded the Accademia degli Unisoni, a musical offshoot of a more important literary academy, the Accademia degli Incogniti. As indicated by published minutes of the Unisoni (Le veglie de’ Signori Unisoni, 1638), Barbara both sang at the meetings and suggested the subjects on which the members exercised their debating skills....