Painted Veil 3
A mystery set in the world of seventeenth century Italian opera, offering readers a suspenseful glimpse into the lives of those men who made this period of music history so provocative: the castrati.
Enough Already with the Handel 4
This article presents commentary on the omnipresence of George Frideric Handel in operatic repertories when up until recently, Handel was known only for the Halleluiah chorus from “Messiah”. The authors cite multiple music critic’s opinion that the Baroque composer is overplayed and overrated.
Neopolitan Opera 5
Baroque Opera gave rise to virtuoso singers exemplified by castrato, a male singer castrated before puberty. Castrati received the highest fees of any musician. Nero-baroque audiences were more interested in their vocal virtuosity than the opera itself.
Deriving Opera From Operation 6
Male castrations has been practiced for many centuries in Italy, China and Middle East for various reasons. In Italy, castration of young boys to preserve the soprano voice was widely practiced, and Europe was infatuated with the castrati and were adored wherever they perform.
What made the success of Italian opera was not so much the music as the singers, the Italian artificial soprano. The great difficulty of reviving Handelian or even later Italian opera lies in the fact that the chief male part were always written for castrato.