Ruspoli, Francesco Maria
- Lowell Lindgren
(b Rome, March 5, 1672; d Rome, July 12, 1731). Italian patron. After inheriting the fortunes of his father (Alessandro, Count Marescotti) and his great-uncle (Bartolomeo Ruspoli), he became, as Marquis of Cerveteri, one of the richest men in Rome. He was ‘acclaimed’ as Olinto Arsenio in the Arcadian Academy on 27 May 1691, and in 1707–11 he hosted its meetings in one of his gardens. He began to sponsor oratorios and serenatas in 1701, and within a few years started to emulate the lavish productions of Cardinals Pamphili and Ottoboni. Like them, he sponsored a weekly ‘academy’, for which Handel wrote more than 50 cantatas when he stayed at Ruspoli's residence in 1707–8. Ruspoli's best-known production was Handel's Oratorio per la Resurrezione di Nostro Signor Gesù Cristo (text by C.S. Capece), which was performed with splendid scenery by five singers and 45 instrumentalists on Easter Sunday 1708...