Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo

Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo

A. Caldara

A. Caldara


Emmanuelle de Negri, Maddalena

Maïlys de Villoutreys, Marta

Benedetta Mazzucato, Amor Terrestro

Damien Guillon, Amor Celeste & musical director

Reinoud van Mechelen, Cristo

Riccardo Novaro, Fariseo

Le Banquet Céleste

Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo is one of the most accomplished Italian oratorios from the 18th century, both from a musical and dramatic point of view.

The choice of this Oratorio came as part of the Banquet Céleste’s artistic development plans, aiming to support the European Baroque repertoire through a selection of iconic works from that era performed by foreground soloists, and explore the link between theatrical declamation and musical expression. As such, the team of singers chosen for this projects includes renowned specialists in this repertoire – combining great technical proficiency with key expressiveness and dramatic appeal.

Rennes’ opera house, where the ensemble was based until December 2018, will be staging this production. The concert will be recorded onto a “live” disk released by Glossa, thus enriching a fairly poor discography for this Oratorio.



This production received creative and broadcasting aid from the Spedidam, a distribution and perception company that manages artist and performer rights with regard to the recording, broadcast and use of the recorded performances.


power is in no way synonymous with intensity. The latter came way ahead during the concert performed by the Banquet Céleste, conducted by Damien Guillon and his admirable soloists. The abbatial church was filled with an attentive audience, who appreciated the fluid music and the singers’ remarkable expressiveness in their representation of Maddalena ai Piedi di Cristo by Antonio Caldara. The ensemble’s promise of poignant intensity never failed; the audience rode on the sinner’s wave of extraordinary affects, and was swept away by the work’s operatic flair. Pierre-Olivier Febvret


As for the evening’s masterpiece, Damien Guillon seems as comfortable singing as with his conductor’s stick, making constant about-turns towards the Banquet Céleste’s ensemble then towards the audience which he enchants with his noble and marvellously vocalising voice (whilst still keeping a link to his fingers by subtle hand and shoulder movements). Bearing testimony to the show’s utmost quality and passionate 88-episode narrative (arias, recitatives and interludes), it comes as a great surprise to see the performers rise half-way through the story to bow before their audience. Not only because intervals are not usually granted during oratorios in a church, but also because of the piece’s remarkable smoothness and interpretation – that is as fascinating as the sacred place in which it was performed. Charles Arden


Interview with Damien Guillon and Emmanuelle de Negri at the Chaise Dieu Festival, for its opening on 18 August 2017. View communication


The countertenor Damien Guillon conducted Le Banquet Céleste and many singers (Emmanuelle de Negri, Mailys de Villoutreys, Reinoud van Mechelen, etc.) in Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo by Antonio Caldara, broadcast live from the Abbatiale Saint Robert at the Chaise-Dieu festival on 18 August 2017 – Producer: Jérémie Rousseau : Podcast of the entire evening

France Musique

“An oratorio set between land and sky (…), everything was done to glorify the little-known works of the Venetian composer Caldara. (…) A new reference version of this authentic masterpiece, for sure.”

Lionel Salter : “This is an issue to be recommended with all possible enthusiasm: it will almost certainly be my Recording of the Year.



Edouardo Torrico : “La lectura de Guillon es encomiable en todos los aspectos.

Scherzo Magazine

Kate Bolton-Porciatti : “The recording is intimate and detailed.(…) The six soloists are sensitively cast”.

BBC Music Magazine

Jean-Stéphane Sourd Durand : “The names Damien Guillon and Le Banquet Céleste are synonyms of brilliant performances. Their appearances are so very expressive and interpretive – they are both unique and reflect the Ensemble’s excellence.”


Michel de Trieue : “Ontdek één van de vroegste oratoria van één van de grootmeesters van het genre met schitterende solisten en het ensemble “Le banquet céleste”, o.l.v. Damien Guillon, zijn naam waardig. (…) Subliem. Niet te missen!”

(Masterful! Discover one of the very first oratorios by a great master in this field, performed by stunning soloists and the “Banquet Céleste” ensemble conducted by Damien Guillon. Simply sublime. Not to be missed!)