Castrato, 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 unique tone quality of the voice, paired with the ability of the masterfully trained singers to execute practically impossible florid vocal passages, made the castrati the rage of opera audiences and contributed to the spread of Italian opera. In 18th-century opera the overwhelming majority of male singers were castrati. The most famous of the Italian castrati was Carlo Broschi, known as Farinelli.
Daniel Shams’ Heliotricity Reviews