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 ?
Recent comprehensive studies on the figure of the castrato have given much-needed attention to individual castrati, following in the recent musicological trend of singer-oriented versus work-oriented approaches.
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].
She emphasizes that her goal is not to merely offer an "explanation of the phenomenon" of the castrato from 1550 to 1922.
The castrato was thus a sacrificial victim of reproduction who, nonetheless, produced economic advantages for his family.
Themes of economics, patronage, and representation undergird chapters 1 and 2, chapter 4 ("Castrato De Luxe: Blood, Gifts, and Goods"), and chapter 6 ("Shadow Voices, Castrato and Non").
Dr Mamy focuses instead on the role of castrato singers: first, a group brought to Venice by the Venetian cardinal and theatre owner Vincenzo Grimani when he was viceroy of Naples in the Austrian interest during the War of the Spanish Succession (chief among them Nicola Grimaldi, 'Nicolino'); then, between 1725 and 1730, another group headed by the legendary Farinelli, who established Neapolitan taste and composers as the norm, both in Venice and, in part through the city's continuing prestige, elsewhere in Europe.