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The Three Counter-Tenors


  • Monday January 29th 2024
  • Royal Opera
  • 8pm | 2h with intermission
Accueil The Three Counter-Tenors 2024


  • Bruno de Sá Sopranist
  • Théo Imart Countertenor
  • Nicolò Balducci Countertenor
  • Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal
  • Under the high patronage of Aline Foriel-Destezet
  • Stefan Plewniak Conductor


Castrati had an exceptional place in Baroque Europe as the first “stars” in the history of music. Almost all Italian and trained in the music conservatories of Naples, they devoted themselves to opera careers or to the service of the most prestigious royal chapels, including the Vatican and the Royal Chapel of Versailles, often combining both jobs.


Castrati routinely held the title role (and all the female parts in Rome), as well as several other important parts, in many operatic productions or sacred oratorios from Vienna to London, creating real competition on the stage. The result was an escalating display of virtuosity and emotion between the singers, which the audience would judge through its demands for encores, and by the opulent gifts proffered to the most venerated singers. Operas were also regularly complemented by “suitcase” arias that the most sought-after castrati would bring with them in order to truly shine.

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With such an extraordinary trio as Bruno de Sá (Brazil), Théo Imart (France) and Nicolò Balducci (Italy), the audience is invited to a very high-flying competition indeed. Baroque in the extreme, the emulation between these primi uomi gave Italian operas their greatest appeal, and is revived here through the most thrilling vocal dynamics by the voices of three counter-tenors who reignite the Glory of the Castrati for a night.


The Royal Opera Productions 

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First part: 50 mns


Second part: 50mn

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Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

Orlando furioso : ouverture

L’Olimpiade : acte II, scène 5 « Siam navi all’onde » (Aminta)

Farnace : acte II, scène 6 « Gelido in ogni vena » (Farnace)


Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783)

Marc’ Antonio e Cleopatra : deuxième entrée, duo final « Bella etade avventurosa » (Marc’Antonio, Cleopatra)


Antonio Vivaldi

Griselda : acte II, scène 2 « Agitata da due venti» (Costanza)




Georg Friedrich Haendel (1685-1759)

Aminta e Filide : récitatif « Arresta, arresta il passo » (Aminta)

Aminta e Filide : duo « Per abbater il rigore d’un crudel » (Aminta, Fillide)

Ariodante : acte II, scène 3 « Scherza infida » (Ariodante)


Antonio Vivaldi

Tito manlio : acte II, scène 18 « Frà le procelle » (Lucio)


Nicola Porpora (1686-1768)

Germanico in Germania : acte II, n°40 « Parto ti lascio, o cara » (Arminio)


Giuseppe Sellitto (1700-1777)

Siface : pasticcio « Mi scaccia crudele » (Viriate, Siface, Ismene)

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The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

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And also…

CD The Three Countertenors


Valer Sabadus, Filippo Mineccia and Samuel Mariño, renowned countertenors, are engaged in a fierce contest between castrati. Who will be your lucky winner in this intense and exhilarating battle of emotions, virtuosity, angelicism and ardour?

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