castrato

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castrato

castrato (kăsträˈtō) [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 Farinelli.

Bibliography

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

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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005