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


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.