Castrati


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Related to Castrati: Castrado, Eunuchs

Castrati

 

a special kind of Italian singer of the 16th through18th centuries (also called sopranisto). Castration in early child-hood left their voices with a boy’s pitch (soprano or mezzo-soprano) and timbre but with an adult’s power. The castrati sanghigh parts (including female parts), difficult virtuoso passages, and sustained notes. In the 16th century castrati performedwidely in Catholic church choirs, from which women werebanned, but in the 17th and 18th centuries they became centralto Italian opera.

References in periodicals archive ?
Historically, the countertenor does have the most cross-dressing roles for repertoire, much like the castrati had, but this is not something to be ashamed of and I've never had a student who expressed concern over this.
Castrati were young men who were castrated prior to puberty, which prevented their voices ever reaching maturity but also ensured that, while their voices were high, they were also very strong.
I didn't mean to imply for any moment that gay people were castrati. I meant that it was one of the most overtly gay books I have written.
Castradiva tells the story of the phenomenon of the castrati. Splendidly attired as a Roman dandy, Buddug plays all the roles in this story of an 18th century castrato.
Had the castrati not emerged, argues Stark, the bel canto tradition would still have held sway in Europe, as its roots predate the popularity of the castrato voice on the secular stage.
Daniels's recital disc, 12 arias from Handel operas, recalls an era when castrati ruled the lyric stage.
This puzzle acquires another aspect when he notes the disdain shown for opera-singing Italian castrati as symbolizing a jaded, luxurious culture, contrasted with poor but "manly" serviceman.
Many castrati also composed music, and Guadagni was no exception.
The young composer was commissioned to write for a cast of tenors, sopranos and castrati, so it lacks the vocal variety that baritones and basses provide.
As harmony began to develop in the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance younger boys and castrati would sing the high parts.