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Gasparini: Atalia


Opera in concert version
  • Monday January 8th 2024
  • Hercules Room
  • 8pm | 2h30 with intermission
Accueil Gasparini: Atalia 2024


  • Camille Poul Atalia
  • Bastien Rimondi Ormano
  • Mélodie Ruvio Nutrice
  • Furio Zanasi Sacerdote
  • Virginie Thomas Choir soprano
  • Ensemble Hemiolia
  • Emmanuel Resche-Caserta Direction


Francesco Gasparini’s Atalia is reborn at the Château de Versailles. This is a forgotten masterpiece, an oratorio of great dramatic intensity and exuberant music; it is also the first oratorio inspired by a work of French literature, Athalie by Racine. This piece by the French genius of tragedy was in fact first performed a year earlier, in 1691, at the Collège de Saint-Cyr near Paris. In Rome, pupils at religious colleges were also accustomed to performing his works; one version of this sacred story was played, in Italian, at the Collegio Clementino in 1692. Gasparini himself wrote the music – he was a famous pupil of Corelli and would soon go on to become Maestro di Coro de l’Ospedale de la Pietà in Venice, where Vivaldi officiated.

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The plot is as follows: Atalia, a paranoid imposter queen who has abandoned religion, fears an uprising among her people. Dreading the prospect of losing the throne, she descends into murderous madness, demanding her loyal Ormonte to execute her most outspoken detractor, Sacerdote, the high priest. But, with the help of the nanny, Nutrice, he Sacerdote secretly plots the inevitable fall of the tyrant queen.


The Hemiolia ensemble with Emmanuel Resche-Caserta, who made a name for themselves with the concert Corelli: Trionfo Romano performed in 2021 at the Grand Trianon, return to the château to revive this Roman masterpiece so closely connected to French ingenuity.


Atalia by Gasparini was performed again on 10 June 2023 in Rome for the Roma Barocca in Musica season and the Roma Festival Barocco.



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First part: 1h10


Second part: 50 min


Oratorio in two parts to an anonymous libretto, after Racine’s tragedy Athalie, premièred in Rome in 1692.

Concert in Italian with no surtitles.

The Hercules Room of the Château de Versailles

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