castrato

(redirected from Castrato singer)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

castrato

(kăsträ`tō) [Ital.,=castrated], a male singer with an artificially created soprano or alto voice, the result of castration in boyhood. The combination of the larynx of a youth and the chest and lungs of a man produced a powerful voice of great range and unique sound. Castrati were especially popular in churches and opera in Europe during the 17th and 18th cent. The most celebrated castrato was Carlo Broschi FarinelliFarinelli, Carlo Broschi
, 1705–82, Italian male soprano, greatest of the castrati (see castrato), pupil of Niccolò Porpora, in whose operas he sang (1734–37) in London. Farinelli's real name was Carlo Broschi.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Bibliography

See R. Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato (2010).

castrato

(in 17th- and 18th-century opera) a male singer whose testicles were removed before puberty, allowing the retention of a soprano or alto voice
References in periodicals archive ?
The great castrato singer Farinelli, long a powerful figure - politically as well as musically - at the Spanish court, also owned a Ferrini pianoforte of 1730.
The second chapter deals with the castrato singer from a hormonal, physiological point of view.
The focus is often on the extraordinary, including the allure and sexual energy of castrato singers, but the reader also learns about the tensions between courtly and rural musical cultures, as well as music for public houses, and the church.
The celebrated castrato singers used these assets to generate an extraordinary sound; by all accounts their range and agility exceeded the greatest prima donnas.