castrato

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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.
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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 ?
Here are two German books, published within a year of each other, on the intriguing world of the castrati; two books with ostensibly the same subject (the castrato singer), partly the same illustrations (depictions of famous castrati), and occasionally citing the same secondary literature (Charles Burney, Giacomo Casanova, Franz Habock, Angus Heriot, Johann Joachim Quantz, Giovenale Sacchi, among others).
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.
Handel Operatic Arias (Virgin Veritas 7243 5 45326 2 7): David Daniels is the countertenor exponent of arias written for Handel's greatest castrato singers: Senesino, Nicolino, Carestini, and Caffarelli.