Marc'Antonio Pasqualini

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Marcantonio Pasqualini Crowned by Apollo (1641) by Andrea Sacchi.

Marc'Antonio Pasqualini (25 April 1614 – 2 July 1691) was an Italian castrato opera singer who performed during the Baroque period. He has been described as "the leading male soprano of his day".[1] Pasqualini joined the choir of the Sistine Chapel in 1630. He was also a composer, having written more than 250 arias and cantatas.


From 1632 Pasqualini was a protagonist of many operas produced at the Palazzo Barberini and Teatro delle Quattro Fontane. He benefitted greatly from the generosity of his patrons, the Barberini family of Pope Urban VIII, who were enthusiastic supporters of early opera.

Pasqualini is thought to have conducted an ongoing homosexual relationship with one of his patrons, Cardinal Antonio Barberini. Contemporary testimony leaves little doubt that the "veritable passion" the cardinal felt extended to more than Pasqualini's beautiful voice.[2]


  1. ^ Metropolitan Museum - Marcantoni Pasqualini crowned by Apollo
  2. ^ Roger Freitas, The Eroticism of Emasculation: Confronting the Baroque Body of the Castrato, The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Spring, 2003), pp. 196-249.