Dutch National Opera presents

Eliogabalo Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676)

This show was to been seen in October 2017

The lust of the teenage emperor

Duration 3:55

Breaks 2

By Francesco Cavalli

Language Italian

Surtitles Dutch and English


Francesco Cavalli
Dramma per musica in tre atti
Libretto anonymous
World premiere 27 November 1999, Teatro San Domenico, Crema


New production for Dutch National Opera
Premiere 12 October 2017
Co-production with Opéra national de Paris

The historical protagonist of Eliogabalo, the late-Roman emperor Heliogabalus, was a maniacal, lecherous teenage emperor, who turned his four-year reign into one long carnival.

Eliogabalo, the Baroque opera of this season in Dutch National Opera & Ballet, is the last surviving opera by the Venetian composer Francesco Cavalli. His Ercole amante has previously been presented in Amsterdam. Until recently, Eliogabalo was not shown on stage, partly because of the fact that a ruler is murdered in it. The world premiere of the opera did not take place until over three hundred years after its completion, in 1999.

Watch the trailer of Eliogabalo.
Watch the behind the scenes of Eliogabalo (2017).
Look at O che bianco di gel by Franco Fagioli
Listen to the aria 'Misero' by Alessandro

About this production

The young French director Thomas Jolly deals freely with the border between classical and popular. Special effects are created by the lighting designs of Antoine Travert. Playing with contrasts brings out the essence of Eliogabalo.

Leonardo García Alarcón and his Cappella Mediterranea are appearing with Dutch National Opera for the first time, after having accompanied this production in Paris as well. The title role in Eliogabalo is sung by the Argentinean Franco Fagioli, one of today’s most exceptional countertenors. Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro (L’incoronazione di Poppea and Madrigals) is returning as Lenia.

Gareth Pugh, a British fashion designer, designed the often eccentric costumes. In 2007, Pugh presented his first collection at the Fashion Week, in London. His designs are worn by such stars as Rihanna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. He previously designed costumes for the opera Antigona, by Tommaso Treatta.


Designs Gareth Pugh

    Mon 13 Feb Klara.be

    “A delicately daring work about lust, deception and true love”.

    Wed 20 Sep Operanews

    "The refreshingly clear, unfussy staging was by actor/director Thomas Jolly, a rising star of the legitimate theater in France, who was directing his first opera production."

© Opéra national de Paris
© Opéra national de Paris
© Opéra national de Paris
© Opéra national de Paris



Thomas Jolly was born in Rouen. He studied theatre sciences at the University of Caen and went to the theatre academy in Rennes. On graduating, he founded the theatre company Piccola Familia.



As a conductor and harpsichordist, Leonardo García Alarcón has appeared in opera houses and concert halls all over the world, including Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, the Concertgebouw, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Théatre des Champs-Élysées, Wigmore Hall London, Teatro Massimo Palermo, Teatro de la Zarzuela Madrid, Opéra national de Paris and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.


The Argentinean harpsichordist and conductor Leonardo García Alarcón founded his Baroque ensemble Cappella Mediterranea in 2005. As the name suggests, he is inspired by his passion for music from the Mediterranean. The company performs in concert halls and theatres all over the world. The ensemble had great success with their first opera project, Cavalli’s Elena, at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (2013).

Cappella Mediterranea
The ensemble Cappella Mediterranea was founded in 2005 by Leonardo García Alarcón with the aim of revisiting the source of the aesthetic ideals of the great composers of Southern Europe. The ensemble specialises in the three main musical genres of the early 17th century: the madrigal, the polyphonic motet and the opera. The ensemble has made internationally acclaimed recordings of music by Barbara Strozzi, Giovanni Giorgi, Giuseppe Zamponi and Michelangelo Falvetti. In 2017, Cappella Mediterranea will be guesting for the first time with Dutch National Opera, in Cavalli's Eliogabalo.


Team, Cast and Chorus

Leonardo García Alarcón
Stage Director
Thomas Jolly
Associate Stage Director
Alexandre Dain
Set Designer
Thibaut Fack
Costume Designer
Gareth Pugh
Wig Designer
Malcolm Edwards
Make-up Designer
Val Garland
Lighting Designer
Antoine Travert
Maud Le Pladec
Corinne Meyniel
Cappella Mediterranea
Dutch National Opera Chorus
Chorus Master
Ching-Lien Wu
Franco Fagioli
Ed Lyon
Valer Sabadus
Nicole Cabell
Kristina Mkhitaryan
Matthew Newlin
Emiliano González Toro
Scott Conner
Atilia Macrina
Mariana Flores