The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Music


Show Summary Details



Quick Reference


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

Reference entries