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Orlando Furioso: music inspired by the epic poem
French King Louis XIV commissioned Lully (pictured) to write 'Roland' at a time when the sovereign had reaffirmed his religious faith and wanted to impose Catholic orthodoxy on his country. Thus the Christian knight Orlando's rediscovery of his sacred mission was an ideal subject for the times. The opera premiered in the stables at Versailles, which had been specially adapted for the occasion.