Lenten Oratorio Series

Oratorio per la Settimana Santa

Music by Luigi Rossi
Libretto by Giulio Cesare Raggioli
March 8 & 10, 2018

For its third annual Lenten Oratorio, Haymarket brings you the earliest known Passion oratorio. Written in Rome in the 1640s, this stirring work contrasts the devilish delight of demons rejoicing at the death of Christ with the heartbreaking lamentation of the Virgin Mary as she weeps for the world. Attributed to Luigi Rossi, the compact masterpiece is performed by an ensemble of 17th-century instruments with soloists and chorus.

Giulio Cesare Raggioli’s libretto is excitingly dramatic compared to its forerunners and contemporaries, and the oratorio’s marked theatricality is heightened by the lack of a narrator, offering instead intense dialogues and lyrical arias and ensembles. The diabolically joyous music of the cheerful demons as they comment on her misery and on the folly of faith intensifies the dramatic impact of the Virgin’s lamentation as she pours forth the anguish of her soul (like Ariadne pining for the return of Theseus). The special color of the lirone adds unusually intense expressiveness to the most sorrowful moments, stirring compassion in listeners. This highly intense, concise, and cathartic mini-opera will engage the senses and the souls of its listeners.

Running Time: 1 hour without intermission
Sung in Italian with English Supertitles

Ticket Information:
Premium Seating - SOLD OUT! 
General Seating - $35

Student Tickets - $10

Thursday, March 8 at 5:45pm
The Chicago Temple
77 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Saturday, March 10 at 5:00pm
Church of the Atonement

5749 N Kenmore Ave, Chicago, IL 60660

Our box office can be reached Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm at (312) 898-7446.