Il palazzo incantato

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Il Palazzo Incantato (The Enchanted Palace) or Il Palagio d’Atlante, overo La Guerriera Amante (The Palace of Atlantes, or The Warrior Woman in Love) is an opera in a prologue and three acts by the Italian composer Luigi Rossi. The libretto, by Giulio Rospigliosi, the future Pope Clement IX, is based on Ariosto's Orlando furioso. It was first performed in Rome in a lavish production at the Teatro delle Quattro Fontane (Palazzo Barberini) on 22 February 1642. Rossi was criticised for giving too much music to his friend, the castrato Marc'Antonio Pasqualini, who played Bradamante, at the expense of the other roles. Some of the highly complicated stage machinery failed to work during the performance too.


Role Voice type[1] Premiere Cast
Pittura soprano (castrato) Pietro Paolo Visconti
Poesia soprano (castrato) Michele Angelo Pellegrini
Musica soprano (castrato) Santi Casata
Magia soprano (castrato) Angelo Feretti
Atlante contralto Lorenzo Sances
Orlando tenor Odoardo Ceccarelli
Angelica soprano (castrato) Loreto Vittori
Giant/Mandricardo bass Bartolomeo Nicolini
Bradamante soprano (castrato) Marc'Antonio Pasqualini
Marfisa soprano (castrato) Pietro Paolo Visconti
Ferraù tenor Giacomo Brilli
Sacripante bass Antonio Sarci
Ruggiero tenor Francesco Bianchi
Astolfo/Iroldo tenor Francesco Stilli
Prasildo soprano (castrato) Angelo Feretti
Alceste contralto Mario Savioni
Gradasso bass Girolamo Navarra
Olimpia soprano (castrato) Santi Casata
Huntsman/False Ruggiero tenor Francesco Acquisti
Doralice soprano (castrato)[2] Giovanni Paolo Selli
Fiordiligi soprano (castrato)[2] Ludovico Camelani
Echo soprano (castrato)[2]
Finardo (a dwarf) soprano (castrato)[2] _____ Zuradi
Fioralba (a woman) soprano (castrato)[2]


The magician Atlante captures Christian and pagan knights and ladies in his enchanted palace of illusions. Orlando, Ferraù and Sacripante enter the palace in search of Angelica. Bradamante seeks Ruggiero and, finding him with Angelica, vows to kill him in a fit of jealous rage. But Atlante calms things by reminding Angelica of her love for Medoro. Atlante feels threatened when Astolfo arrives as the knight is immune to his magic. Atlante convinces his captives that Astolfo is the enemy. Meanwhile, Ruggiero has broken the spell. Atlante responds by disguising himself as Ruggiero but when he is faced with a duel with the real Ruggiero he is forced to admit defeat. The magic palace vanishes and the knights and ladies are freed.


  1. ^ According to Marina Vaccarini.
  2. ^ a b c d e This role is not included in Vaccarini's list.


  • The Viking Opera Guide ed. Holden (Viking, 1993)
  • Le magazine de l'opéra baroque by Jean-Claude Brenac
  • Marina Vaccarini, Palazzo incantato, il, (il Palagio d'Atlante, o vero La guerriera amante), in Gelli, Piero & Poletti Filippo eds. (2007). Dizionario dell'Opera 2008, Milan: Baldini Castoldi Dalai, pp. 187-188. ISBN 978-88-6073-184-5 (accessible online at Opera Manager (in Italian))
  • Amadeus Online
  • Murata, Margaret, "Operas for the Papal Court, 1631-1668)", UMI Research Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1981, p. 47 (ISBN 0835711226, 9780835711227)
  • Libretto online at