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A castrato is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or one who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity. A voice type is a particular kind of human Singing voice perceived as having certain identifying qualities or characteristics Human voices may be classified according to their vocal range &mdash the highest and lowest pitches that they can produce This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. The tenor is the highest male voice within the Modal register, just above the Baritone voice This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Coloratura has several meanings The word derives from the Italian colorare (to Colour; to heighten to enliven or colorazione (colouring coloration Chest voice is a term used within vocal music The use of this term varies widely within vocal pedagogical circles and there is currently no one consistent opinion among vocal music professionals Head voice is a term used within vocal music The use of this term varies widely within vocal pedagogical circles and there is currently no one consistent opinion among vocal music professionals Sprechgesang and Sprechstimme ( German for spoken-song and spoken-voice) are musical terms used to refer to an expressionist vocal A vocal register in the human voice is a particular series of tones produced in the same vibratory pattern of the Vocal folds and possessing the same quality Vocal resonation is the process by which the basic product of Phonation is enhanced in timbre and/or intensity by the air-filled cavities through which it passes on its way to Human voices may be classified according to their vocal range &mdash the highest and lowest pitches that they can produce A musical keyboard is the set of adjacent depressible levers or keys on a Musical instrument, particularly the piano This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Alto is a musical term derived from the Latin word altus, meaning "high" that has several possible interpretations The tenor is the highest male voice within the Modal register, just above the Baritone voice This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Alto is a musical term derived from the Latin word altus, meaning "high" that has several possible interpretations Castration (also referred to as Gelding, Neutering, Fixing, orchiectomy, and orchidectomy is any action surgical, chemical Endocrinology (from Greek grc ἔνδον endon, "within" grc κρῑνω krīnō, "to separate" and grc -λογία
Castration before puberty (or in its early stages) prevents a boy's larynx from being transformed by the normal physiological events of puberty. The larynx (plural larynges) colloquially known as the voicebox, is an organ in the Neck of Mammals involved in protection of the As a result, the vocal range of prepubescence (shared by both sexes) is largely retained, and the voice develops into adulthood in a unique way. As the castrato's body grew, his lack of testosterone meant that his epiphyses (bone-joints) did not harden in the normal manner. Epiphysis is the name for a rounded end of a long Bone. The epiphysis is filled with red Bone marrow, which produces Erythrocytes, or red blood cells Thus the limbs of the castrati often grew unusually long, as did the bones of their ribs. A limb (from the Old English lim) is a jointed or Prehensile (as Octopus tentacles or new world Monkey tails Appendage of the In Vertebrate Anatomy, ribs ( Latin costae) are the long curved Bones which form the ribcage. This, combined with intensive training, gave them unrivalled lung-power and breath capacity. Operating through small, child-sized vocal cords, their voices were also extraordinarily flexible, and quite different from the equivalent adult female voice, as well as higher vocal ranges of the uncastrated adult male (see soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, sopranist, countertenor and contralto). This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Alto is a musical term derived from the Latin word altus, meaning "high" that has several possible interpretations A sopranist (also sopranista or male soprano) is a male classical singer who is able to sing in the vocal Tessitura of a Soprano usually through This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Listening to the only surviving recordings of a castrato (see below), one can hear that the lower part of the voice sounds like a "super-high" tenor, with a more falsetto-like upper register above that. The term falsetto (Italian diminutive of falso, false refers to the Vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the Modal voice register and
Castrati were rarely referred to as such: in the eighteenth century, the term musico (pl musici) was much more generally used, though it usually carried derogatory implications; another synonym was evirato (literally meaning "emasculated").
Castration as a means of subjugation, enslavement or other punishment has a very long pedigree, dating back to ancient Sumeria (see also Eunuch). A eunuch (ˈjuːnək is a Castrated man in particular one castrated early enough to have major hormonal consequences the term usually refers to those castrated in order to In a Western context, eunuch singers are known to have existed from the early Byzantine Empire. A eunuch (ˈjuːnək is a Castrated man in particular one castrated early enough to have major hormonal consequences the term usually refers to those castrated in order to In Constantinople around 400 AD the empress Aelia Eudoxia had a eunuch choir-master, Brison, who may have established the use of castrati in Byzantine choirs, though whether Brison himself was a singer, and whether he had colleagues who were eunuch singers, is not certain. Aelia Eudoxia (died 6 October 404) was the Empress consort of the Eastern Roman emperor Arcadius. By the ninth century, eunuch singers were well-known (not least in the choir of Hagia Sophia), and remained so until the sack of Constantinople by the Western forces of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya Αγία Σοφία " Holy Wisdom " Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia) is a former patriarchal Basilica, later Their fate from then until their reappearance in Italy more than three hundred years later is by no means clear, though it seems likely that the Spanish tradition of soprano falsettists may have "hidden" castrati (it should be remembered that much of Spain was under Arab domination at various times during the Middle Ages, and that eunuch harem-keepers and the like, almost always taken from conquered populations, were a commonplace of that society: by sheer statistics, some of them are likely to have been singers).
Castrati, many of them having Spanish names, first appeared in Italy in the mid-sixteenth century, though at first the terms describing them were not always clear. The phrase Soprano maschio (male soprano), which could also mean falsettist, occurs in the Due Dialoghi della Musica of Luigi Dentini, an Oratorian priest, published in Rome in 1553. On 9 November 1555 Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este (famed as the builder of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli), wrote to Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (1538-1587), that he has heard that His Grace is interested in his cantoretti, and offering to send him two, so that he could choose one for his own service. This is a rare term, but probably does equate to castrato.  The Cardinal's brother, Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, was another early enthusiast, enquiring about castrati in 1556. Ferrara is a city in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital city of the Province of Ferrara. There were certainly castrati in the Sistine Chapel choir in 1558, although not described as such: on 27 April of that year, Hernando Bustamante, a Spaniard from Palencia, was admitted (the first castrati so termed who joined the Sistine choir were Pietro Paolo Folignato and Girolamo Rossini, admitted in 1599).  Surprisingly, considering the later French distaste for castrati they certainly existed in France at this time also, being known of in Paris, Orléans, Picardy and Normandy, though they were not abundant, the King of France himself having difficulty in obtaining them.  By 1574 there were castrati in the Imperial court chapel at Munich, where the Kapellmeister (music director) was Orlando di Lasso. Kapellmeister (kəˈpɛlˌmaɪstər is a German word designating a person in charge of music-making Orlande de Lassus (also Orlandus Lassus, Orlando di Lasso, Roland de Lassus, or Roland Delattre) (1532 (possibly 1530 &ndash June In 1589, by the bull Cum pro nostri temporali munere, Pope Sixtus V re-organised the choir of St Peter's, Rome specifically to include castrati. Pope Sixtus V ( December 13, 1521 &ndash August 27, 1590) born Felice Peretti di Montalto, was Pope from 1585 to 1590 Thus the castrati came to supplant both boys (whose voices broke after only a few years) and falsettists (whose voices were weaker and less reliable) from the top line in such choirs. Women were banned by the Pauline dictum mulieres in ecclesiis taceant ("let women keep silent in church"; see I Corinthians, ch 14, v 34).
Castrati had parts in the earliest operas: in the first performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo (1607) they played subsidiary roles, including that of Euridice. By 1680, however, they had supplanted "normal" male voices in lead roles, and retained their hegemony as primo uomo for about a hundred years; an opera not featuring at least one renowned castrato in a lead part would be doomed to fail. Because of the popularity of Italian opera throughout 18th-century Europe (except France), singers such as Ferri, Farinelli, Senesino and Pacchierotti became the first operatic superstars, earning enormous fees and hysterical public adulation. Farinelli ( January 24, 1705 &ndash September 16, 1782) was the Stage name of Carlo Maria Broschi, one of the most famous Senesino ( Francesco Bernardi) ( October 31 1686 &ndash November 27 1758) was a celebrated Italian alto Castrato The strictly hierarchical organisation of opera seria favoured their high voices as symbols of heroic virtue, though they were frequently mocked for their strange appearance and bad acting. Opera seria (usually called dramma per musica or Melodramma serio) is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and "serious"
The strongest objection against castrati in Europe of the last few centuries was based on the means by which the preparation of future singers frequently led to their premature deaths. To prevent the child from experiencing the intense pain of castration, many were inadvertently administered lethal doses of opium or something similar.
Writing of an earlier time, the music historian Charles Burney was sent from pillar to post in search of places where the operation was carried out: "I enquired throughout Italy at what place boys were chiefly qualified for singing by castration, but could get no certain intelligence. Charles Burney ( 7 April 1726 &ndash 12 April 1814) was an English music historian and father of author Frances I was told at Milan that it was at Venice; at Venice that it was at Bologna; but at Bologna the fact was denied, and I was referred to Florence; from Florence to Rome, and from Rome I was sent to Naples. . . it is said that there are shops in Naples with this inscription: 'QUI SI CASTRANO RAGAZZI' ("Here boys are castrated"); but I was utterly unable to see or hear of any such shops during my residence in that city. "
The training of the boys was rigorous. The regime of one singing school in Rome (c. 1700) consisted of one hour of singing difficult and awkward pieces, one hour practising trills, one hour practising ornamented passaggi, one hour of singing exercises in their teacher's presence and in front of a mirror so as to avoid unnecessary movement of the body or facial grimaces, and one hour of literary study; all this, moreover, before lunch. After, half-an-hour would be devoted to musical theory, another to writing counterpoint, an hour copying down the same from dictation, and another hour of literary study. During the remainder of the day, the young castrati had to find time to practice their harpsichord playing, and to compose vocal music, either sacred or secular depending on their inclination.  This demanding schedule meant that, if sufficiently talented, they were able to make a debut in their mid-teens with a perfect technique and a voice of a flexibility and power no woman or ordinary male singer could match.
In the 1720s and 1730s, at the height of the craze for these artificially-preserved voices, it has been estimated that upwards of 4000 boys were castrated annually in the service of art.  Many came from poor homes, and were more or less sold by their parents to the church or to a singing-master, in the hope that their child might be successful and lift them from their lowly status in society (this was the case with Senesino). Senesino ( Francesco Bernardi) ( October 31 1686 &ndash November 27 1758) was a celebrated Italian alto Castrato There are, though, records of some young boys asking to be operated on to preserve their voices (e. g. Caffarelli, who was from a wealthy family: his grandmother gave him the income from two vineyards to pay for his studies). Caffarelli was also typical of many castrati in being famous for tantrums on and off-stage, and for amorous adventures with noble ladies. Some, as described by Casanova, preferred gentlemen (noble or otherwise).  Modern endocrinology would suggest that the castrati's much-vaunted sexual prowess was more the stuff of legend than reality. Not all castrated boys had successful careers on the operatic stage; the better "also-rans" sang in cathedral or church choirs, while some, trained as they were in acting, may have turned to the theatre, or perhaps even prostitution.
By the late eighteenth century, changes in operatic taste and social attitudes spelled the end for castrati. They lingered on past the end of the ancien régime (which their style of opera parallels), and two of their number, Pacchierotti and Crescentini, even entranced the iconoclastic Napoleon. Gaspare Pacchierotti (born Fabriano (Marche 21 May 1740, died Padua 28 October 1821) was a great Mezzo-soprano Girolamo Crescentini ( February 2 1766 – April 24 1846) was a noted Italian male Castrato mezzo-soprano The last great operatic castrato was Giovanni Battista Velluti (1781-1861), who performed the last operatic castrato role ever written: Armando in Il Crociato in Egitto by Meyerbeer (Venice, 1824). Giovanni Battista Velluti, colloquially " Giambattista " ( January 28 1780 &ndash January 22 1861) was an Italian Giacomo Meyerbeer ( September 5, 1791 &ndash May 2, 1864) was a noted German -born Opera Composer, and Soon after this they were replaced definitively as the first men of the operatic stage by the new breed of heroic tenor as incarnated by the Frenchman Gilbert-Louis Duprez, the earliest "king of the high Cs", whose successors are singers like Caruso, Franco Corelli, and Luciano Pavarotti. Gilbert Duprez ( 6 December 1806 &ndash 23 September, 1896) was a French Tenor. Enrico Caruso (born Errico Caruso; February 25 1873 &ndash August 2 1921) was an Italian Opera singer Franco Corelli (8 April 1921 – 29 October 2003 was an Italian Tenor active in Opera from 1951 to 1976 WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes. Thank you--> Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI ( October 12,
After the reunification of Italy in 1870, castration for musical purposes was made officially illegal (the new Italian state had adopted a French legal code which expressly forbade the practice). In 1878, Pope Leo XIII prohibited the hiring of new castrati by the church: only in the Sistine Chapel and in other papal basilicas in Rome did a few castrati linger. Pope Leo XIII ( March 2, 1810 – July 20, 1903) born Count Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci, was the 256th Pope A group photo of the Sistine Choir taken in 1898 shows that by then only six remained (plus the Direttore Perpetuo, the fine soprano castrato Domenico Mustafà), and in 1902 a ruling was extracted from Pope Leo that no further castrati should be admitted. The official end to the castrati came on St. Cecilia's Day, 22 November 1903, when the new pope, Pius X, issued his motu proprio, Tra le Sollecitudini ('Amongst the Cares'), which contained this instruction: "Whenever . . . it is desirable to employ the high voices of sopranos and contraltos, these parts must be taken by boys, according to the most ancient usage of the Church. " The last Sistine castrato to survive was Alessandro Moreschi, the only castrato to have made recordings. Alessandro Moreschi (November 11 1858 - April 21 1922 was the most famous Castrato Singer of the late 19th century and the only castrato of the classic Bel On Moreschi, critical opinion varies between those who think him mediocre and only interesting as an historical record of the castrato voice, and others who regard him as a fine singer, judged on the practice and taste of his own time. He retired officially in March 1913, and died in 1922.
A castrato singing
The Catholic Church's involvement in the castrato phenomenon has long been controversial, and there have recently been calls for it to issue an official apology for its role. As long ago as 1748, Pope Benedict XIV tried to ban castrati from churches, but such was their popularity at the time that he realised that doing so might result in a drastic decline in church attendance. Pope Benedict XIV ( March 31, 1675 &ndash May 3, 1758) born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, was Pope from August 17
There have also long been rumours of another castrato sequestered in the Vatican for the personal delectation of the Pontiff until as recently as 1959, but these have been definitively shown to be false. The singer in question was a pupil of Moreschi's, Domenico Mancini, such a skillful imitator of his teacher's voice that even Lorenzo Perosi, Direttore Perpetuo of the Sistine Choir from 1898 to 1956 and a lifelong opponent of castrati, thought he was a castrato. Monsignor Lorenzo Perosi ( 21 December 1872 - 12 October 1956) was an Italian Composer of Sacred music and the only Mancini was in fact a moderately skilful falsettist and professional double-bass player. The double bass is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed String instrument used in the modern symphony orchestra.
So-called "natural" or "endocrinological castrati" are born with hormonal anomalies such as Kallmann's syndrome, or have undergone unusual physical or medical events during their early lives that reproduce the vocal effects of castration without the surgeon's knife. Hormones (from Greek ὁρμή - "impetus" are chemicals released by cells that affect cells in other parts of the body Kallmann syndrome is an example of Hypogonadism (decreased functioning of the sex hormone-producing glands caused by a deficiency of Gonadotropin-releasing hormone Javier Medina and Jorge Cano are examples of this type of high male voice. Jorge Cano is a young Baroque opera singer native of Bogotá, who initiated his studies at the National University of Colombia The case of Michael Maniaci is somewhat different, in that he has no hormonal or other anomalies, but for some unknown reason, his voice did not "break" in the usual manner, leaving him still able to sing in the soprano register. Michael Maniaci (born 1976 is an American Male soprano noted for his unusual ability to sing into the upper Soprano register without using Falsetto. Other uncastrated male adults sing soprano, generally using some form of falsetto, but in a much higher range than the more common countertenor. The term falsetto (Italian diminutive of falso, false refers to the Vocal register occupying the frequency range just above the Modal voice register and This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Examples are Aris Christofellis, Radu Marian, Jörg Waschinski, and Ghio Nannini. Aris Christofellis (Άρης Χριστοφέλλης is a Sopranist (male soprano who was born in Athens on 5 February 1960. Radu Marian was born in 1977 in what was then the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic to a family of Moldovan artists All these are gifted performers, but it must be remembered that, having been born in the twentieth century, they and the few others like them have not undergone the type of rigorous training through adolescence endured by the castrati of the eighteenth century. Thus their technique is distinctly "modern", and they lack the tenorial chest register that the castrati possessed. An exception is the jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott who uses only the low register, matching approximately the range used by female blues singers. Jazz is an American Musical art form which originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States Jimmy Scott ( July 17, 1925 in Cleveland) aka "Little" Jimmy Scott, is an American Jazz Vocalist. The Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of Music based on the use of the Blue notes It emerged as an accessible form of self-expression
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