Roma (opera)

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Opera by Jules Massenet
Jules Massenet from Musical Memories by Saint-Saëns.jpg
The composer
Librettist Henri Cain
Language French
Based on Rome vaincue
by Alexandre Parodi
Premiere 17 February 1912 (1912-02-17)
Opéra de Monte Carlo

Roma is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Henri Cain based on the play Rome vaincue by Alexandre Parodi. It was first performed at the Opéra de Monte Carlo on 17 February 1912.

Roma was the last opera by Massenet to premiere in his lifetime. Three operas were subsequently premiered posthumously: Panurge (1913), Cléopâtre (1914) and Amadis (1922). The piece has not survived into the modern operatic repertoire, but has been revived recently and recorded by the Teatro la Fenice in Venice.


Role Voice type Premiere Cast,[1] 17 February 1912
(Conductor: Léon Jehin)
Lentulus tenor Lucien Muratore
Fabius Maximus baritone Jean-François Delmas
Fausta soprano Maria Nikolaevna Kuznetsova
Lucius Cornélius bass Pierre Clauzure
Posthumia contralto Lucy Arbell
Junia soprano Julia Guiraudon
Vestapor baritone Jean Noté
The Grand Vestal soprano Éliane Peltier
Galla soprano Doussot
Caïus baritone Kozline/Skano
An old man baritone Gasparini
Chorus: Senators, Priests, Vestal virgins, people.


The story takes place in Ancient Rome, following the Carthaginian triumph at the Battle of Cannae. Fausta, daughter of Fabius, has allowed the sacred fires to burn out at the Temple of Vesta, profaning the sanctuary. After failed attempts to escape her fate, to be buried alive wrapped in a black veil, Fausta returns to Rome to accept her punishment. As she is being led to execution, her blind grandmother, Posthumia, hands her Fabius' dagger. Fausta's hands are bound, however, and Posthumia must kill her granddaughter to spare her from the burial and expiate the sacrilege.



  1. ^ Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Roma, 17 February 1912". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).