Sunday, December 7, 2008

The last castrato - Book Review

The castrato craze was one of the most bizarre phenomena of the European Baroque period. In the middle years of the 16th century eunuchs began to be prized in the courts of Italy for their peculiar vocal power and brilliance. By 1600, Pope Clement VIII could solemnly declare that "the creation of castrati for Church choirs is to be held to the honour of God". A century later the gelded male, whether soprano or alto, dominated the Italian operatic scene. Stars such as Senesino, Caffarelli and Carestini earned huge salaries in the course of glittering international careers, while the legendary Farinelli, by singing the same five arias nightly for 23 years to two schizophrenic kings of Spain, became their éminence grise and, as some believed, unofficial ruler of the Spanish empire.

To read the whole article:
Click here

This is a service offered by the
Organisation Intersex International