Florence in 1698 is the backdrop for Joyce Pool's The Castrato
, a sensitive tale of the joys and sorrows of life as a castrato
: Gaetano Guadagni and the Coming of a New Operatic Age [New York: Oxford University Press, 2014]; Helen Berry, The Castrato
and His Wife [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011]; Roger Freitas, Portrait of a Castrato
: Politics, Patronage, and Music in the Life of Atto Metani [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009]; and Nicholas Clapton, Moreschi and the Voice of the Castrato
[London: Haus Books, 2008].) In contrast, Feldman provides a new approach by putting the lives of many castrati in dialogue with a complex web of cultural-historical anthropology.
This year, Khodr is focusing on the repertoire of perhaps the most famous castrato
singer of them all: Farinelli.
The figure that most clearly represents the mysterious, disruptive force of the "cry" is the figure of the castrato
. Despite the fact that Lee never describes the singer Zaffirino (in "A Wicked Voice") as such, Pulham mounts a powerful case that the ghostly opera singers in various of Lee's supernatural tales are indeed castrato
figures, the sexual ambiguity of their voices presenting a threat to the stable "reality principle" of their audience and Lee herself.
For a castrato
, such a pose was challenging." (149) To ingratiate himself he provided Cardinal Mazarin with inside information about the Imperial election of 1657, which earned him a pension from Louis XIV.
Knight's crucial first chapter, which analyzes both Sarrasine and Le Chef d'oeuvre inconnu, provides an important critical counterweight to Barthes's analysis of Sarrasine as a tragic figure who, obsessed with the Italian singer who embodies his ideal of feminine beauty, is destroyed by the discovery that his model is a castrato
. While Barthes reads Sarrasine's story as emblematic of the inadequacy of a real model to guarantee the aesthetic wholeness and coherence of the artist's vision, Knight's analysis suggests the limitations of Barthes's analytic perspective in its more exclusive identification with the perspective of Balzac's isolated and troubled artist.
Rather than placing emphasis on female opera heroines' collective and untimely demise, Andre theorizes the phenomenon of the treble voice in opera, whether that voice emanates from the physical form of a heroic castrato
, a cross-dressed mezzo such as the one I played above, or a swooning soprano diva.
The first of these is comprised of 13 short articles covering a veritable smorgasbord of disparate topics such as operatic orchestral music, the singing voice, the castrato
or male soprano, the operatic claque, concert pitch, elements of music, ballet, the construction of opera houses and scenery, and persons connected with opera.
(7) Despite his disapproval, however, Burney writes of the most famous castrato
, Farinelli, that he was an "extraordinary musician" who "mixed the pathetic with the spirited, the simple with the sublime, and ...
Tito Amato, a renowned castrato
and amateur sleuth, is already intrigued about his invitation to be a part of this performance, and discovers that the mysterious murders have more to do with his unconventional family than he could ever imagine.
Also notable in the comedy category were Worst Case Scenario: Butch Edition, a Super 8 butch-etiquette primer by Mary Guzman, and Castrato
Di Matteo's Audition Tape, where director Laura Terruso plays all three roles: Castrato
Di Matteo (in male drag), his girlfriend and his mother.