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).

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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
References in periodicals archive ?
This volume, however, is more than a history of Guadagni; it offers insight into the life of a castrato in the mid-18th century.
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.
She emphasizes that her goal is not to merely offer an "explanation of the phenomenon" of the castrato from 1550 to 1922.
Chapters 1 and 2 ("Of Strange Births and Comic Kin" and "The Man Who Pretended to Be Who He Was: A Tale of Reproduction") explore the castrato's attempts to participate in various forms of "male social reproduction" (p.
Her goal in this reconstruction is to argue that "a pool of voices [castrati] did share some anatomical conditions and cultural imprinting, and that castrato voices all told may be a bit more knowable than we grant" (p.
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").
Chapter 5--"Cold Man, Money Man, Big Man Too"--contextualizes changing notions of onstage and real-life representation and the outsider status that the castrato occupied in the new "moralizing society" of mid-eighteenth-century Europe.