The libretto was written by the imperial poet in Rome on the instruction of Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor. Court composer Antonio Caldara's original setting of La passione di Gesù Cristo signor nostro was performed in at the holy sepulchre in the Hofburgkapelle, the court chapel in Vienna, for Holy Week on 3 April 1730.
The oratorio marks a departure from the settings of actual Gospel passion narratives such as the Latin Passio Secundum Ioannem of Alessandro Scarlatti to a more theatrical style. The four central roles are S. Pietro, S. Giovanni, Maria Maddalena, Giuseppe d'Arimatea - with John, Mary Magdalene and Joseph of Arimathea answering Peter's questions about the crucifixion.
^Harry White Johann Joseph Fux and the music of the Austro-Italian Baroque 1992
^Howard E. Smither A history of the oratorio p.395.
^Azione sacra del sig. abate Metastasio poeta di SM ces. cat. Musica del signor Giuseppe Venturelli dilettante
^Musica e storia: Vol.9 Fondazione Levi - 2001 "esecuzione presso i padri filippini di Venezia."
^Smith J. E., Sir. A sketch of a tour on the continuent in the years 1786 and 1787 p275 1807 ed. "At seven in the evening we went to the church of St. Maria Novella, to hear a most delightful oratorio of Metastasio on the Passion, the music by Jomelli."
^Recordings (1) Lugano Chamber Society Orchestra, dir Arturo Sacchetti, Musidisc. 1994 (2) Eufonia Ensemble, Sigismondo d'India Vocal Ensemble, Berlin Baroque Academy conducted by Alessandro de Marchi. K617, 1996