Marc'Antonio Pasqualini

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

Marco Antonio Pasqualini (stage name Malagigi;[1] 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".[2] Pasqualini joined the choir of the Sistine Chapel in 1630. He was also a composer, having written more than 250 arias and cantatas.

Despite being historically addressed as a soprano, Pasqualini's vocal range extended no higher than B5. Thus, he was a mezzo-soprano by modern classification.[3][4]


From 1631/2 Pasqualini was a protagonist of many operas produced at the Palazzo Barberini and Teatro delle Quattro Fontane. He benefited 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.[5][6]


  1. ^ Margaret Murata. "Pasqualini, Marc'Antonio". In Deane L. Root. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  2. ^ Metropolitan Museum - Marcantoni Pasqualini crowned by Apollo
  3. ^ Max Emanuel Cencic
  4. ^ [1]Il Sant'Alessio (1631) by Stefano Landi
  5. ^ Freitas, Roger, The Eroticism of Emasculation: Confronting the Baroque Body of the Castrato, The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Spring, 2003), pp. 196-249.
  6. ^ Max Emanuel Cencic