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Sacrati : La Finta Pazza


Opera in staged version
  • From Saturday 3rd to Sunday December 4th 2022
  • Royal Opera
  • 3h15 with intermission
Accueil Sacrati : La Finta Pazza 2022


Mariana Flores Deidamia

Filippo Mineccia Achille

Gabriel Jublin Ulisse

Valerio Contaldo Diomede

Alejandro Meerapfel Licomede

Norma Nahoun Minerva, La Fama

Kacper Szelążek Eunuco

Marcel Beekman Nodrice

Salvo Vitale Capitano

Julie Roset Aurora, Giunone

Alexander Miminoshvili Vulcano, Giove

Fiona McGown Tetide, Vittoria

Anna Piroli, Sarah Hauss, Aurélie Marjot Donzelles

Ruben Ruf Pirro

Priscilla Bescond, Sidney Cadot, Maëlle Desclaux Women of the gynecary

 Matt Gutierrez, Sébastien Chabane Guards

Cappella Mediterranea

Leonardo García Alarcón Conductor

Jean-Yves Ruf Staging

Laure Pichat Sets

Claudia Jenatsch Costumes

Christian Dubet Lighting

Cécile Kretschmar Wigs and make-up

Anaïs de Courson Staging assistant

Fanny Gamet Sets assistant

Jacopo Raffaele Musical asisstant and vocal coach

Fabián Schofrin Language repeater and musical assistant for the recording


“The story of the incredible success of La Finta Pazza in Venice in 1641 is often attributed to the presence of the diva Anna Renzi and to Torelli’s incredible stage machinery. However, a show with an excellent singer and an impressive machinery is nothing without remarkable music. As soon as I discovered this score, which has almost never been performed recently, I immediately understood the surprising quality of this music and why it had such an impact on young King Louis XIV. It offers something new in the history of music, just as the opera was becoming accessible to the public, with an extremely sophisticated relation between music and text. The quality of the music is the reason why La Finta Pazza was the first opera performed at the French court in 1645, at a time when the genre was completely unknown.

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When comparing Sacrati’s music to Monteverdi’s, it appears much more ornate, with more coloratura, more explicit virtuosity, which Monteverdi tried to avoid when this was not required by the text; this takes Sacrati closer to later opera composers. He is in fact closer to a composer like Cavalli, although his harmonies are very new – 4/2, ninth/seventh and composed chords – and found neither in Monteverdi or Cavalli. We used to think that this type of chords only came later and now know they already existed in Sacrati’s music. In La Finta Pazza, I rediscovered the type of harmony and intervals found in “Pur ti Miro” of The Coronation of Poppea, which according to me clearly shows Sacrati’s intervention in the score. As for the rest, we see here a musician inventing a style, constructing his range of emotions, his music is still a work in progress and his style not fully individual. However, the natural aspect of his music makes him a great composer who deserves to be listed alongside Cavalli and Monteverdi. As the only available score of La Finta Pazza comes from a revival in Piacenza in 1664, one could fear there would be some musical additions by another hand. This is not the case, the style of composition is consistent throughout, even in the instrumental parts.


The basso continuo – the continuo – plays a central role in this music of course. As soon as it was invented, around 1600, basso continuo became the pulse that supports the singers’ breath, the development of colours, a sort of second, emotional, decor. A wealth of instruments, luths, archlutes, guitars, harps, harpsichords, organ, viola da gamba, lyres was needed to enhance the text and make its emotions accessible to the public through the colours of the continuo. My approach of La Finta Pazza will not be any different from my approach of Monteverdi and Cavalli’s operas: the text always dictates how and who should accompany it. 


La Finta Pazza has played a central role in the exportation of Italian opera, particularly to France, where it has remained a constant presence since: after Sacrati came Rossi, Cavalli, Lully, then Piccini, Rossini, Donizetti etc. in the 18th and 19th century. This long history was born with the Finta Pazza, which inspired the passion for opera to France. After four centuries, it seemed to me that it should be recreated in France.


Leonardo García Alarcón


Coproduction Opéra Royal / Château de Versailles Spectacles, Opéra de Dijon

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Opera in one prologue and three acts, libretto by Giulio Strozzi, first performed in Venice in 1641.


Performed in Italian with French and English surtitles.

The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

And also…


Leonardo García Alarcón and his Cappela Mediterranea bring back to life this Sacrati opera, the first of its kind to be represented in Paris. Discover this masterpiece that left its mark on the young Louis XIV and made him want to become a dancer!
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