castrato


castrato
/ka strah"toh, keuh-/; It. /kah strddah"taw/, n., pl. castrati /-tee/.
a male singer, esp. in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent his soprano or contralto voice range from changing.
[1755-65; < It < L castrat(us); see CASTRATE]

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Male soprano or alto voice produced as a result of castration before puberty.

The castrato voice was introduced in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel in the 16th century, when women were still banned from church choirs as well as the stage. It reached its greatest prominence in 17th-and 18th-century opera. The illegal and inhumane practice of castration, largely practiced in Italy, could produce a treble voice of extraordinary power, attributable to the lung capacity and physical bulk of the adult male. The unique tone quality and the ability of intensively trained singers to execute virtuosic passagework made castrati the rage among opera audiences and contributed to the spread of Italian opera. Most male singers in 18th-century opera were castrati; the most famous bore the stage names Senesino (Francesco Bernardi; died с 1750), Caffarelli (Gaetano Majorano; 1710–1783), and Farinelli. Castrati sang in the Sistine Chapel choir until 1903.

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music
also called  Evirato,  

      male soprano or contralto voice of great range, flexibility, and power, produced as a result of castration before puberty. The castrato voice was introduced in the 16th century, when women were banned from church choirs and the stage. It reached its greatest prominence in 17th- and 18th-century opera. The practice of castration, illegal and inhumane, produced an adult voice of extraordinary power attributable to the greater lung capacity and physical bulk of the adult male.

      The unique tone quality of the voice, coupled with the ability of the intensively trained singers to execute extremely difficult florid vocal passages, made the castrati the rage of opera audiences and contributed to the spread of Italian opera. In 18th-century opera the majority of male singers were castrati. The most famous of the Italian castrati was Carlo Broschi, known as Farinelli.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Castrato — (it.; pl. «castrati») m., gralm. pl. Cantante que era emasculado antes de la pubertad para que mantuviera voz de soprano o contralto. * * * castrato. (Del it. castrato, propiamente, castrado ). m. Mús. Cantante al que se castraba en la infancia… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Castrato — Cas*tra to, n. [L., properly p. p. of castrare. See {Castrate}.] A male person castrated for the purpose of improving his voice for singing; an artificial, or male, soprano. Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • castrato — [käs trät′ō] n. pl. castrati [käs trät′ē] [It < L castratus: see CASTRATE] a singer castrated as a boy to preserve the soprano or contralto range of his voice, esp. in 16th 18th cent. Italy …   English World dictionary

  • Castrato — A castrato is a man with a singing voice equivalent to that of a soprano, mezzo soprano, or contralto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or one who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual… …   Wikipedia

  • castrato — 1. noun /kæsˈtrɑː.təʊ/ a) A male who has been castrated, especially a male whose testicles have been removed before puberty in order to retain his boyish voice. b) A male soprano or alto voice produced by castration of the treble singer before… …   Wiktionary

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