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castrato


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(It.).

Castrated. Male sop. or cont. whose v. was preserved by castration before puberty. In great demand in It. opera in 17th and 18th cents., the voice being brilliant, flexible, and often sensuous. Giovanni Gualberto Magli, a castrato, sang Music and Proserpine (and perhaps Hope) in f.p. of Monteverdi's Orfeo (Mantua 1607). Other famous castrati were Senesino, Farinelli, Caffarelli, Guadagni, and Velluti. Castrati survived in Vatican chapel and Roman churches until 20th cent. Recordings exist of Alessandro Moreschi (1858–1922), male sop. of Sistine Chapel. Wagner wanted the male soprano D. Mustafà to sing Klingsor in Parsifal.

Subjects: Music


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