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During the 18th-century craze for the pure, high voices of the castrati, approximately 100,000 boys were snipped in the name of opera. Many of them died on the operating table, but a few, such as Farinelli,were the undisputed superstars of 18th-century musical culture, driving crowds wild with their intoxicatingly androgynous virtuoso voices.
The counter-tenor and historian Nicholas Clapton analyses the anatomical mysteries of the castrato and the biological implications. He travels to Bologna, the adopted home of Farinelli and tells one of music’s greatest untold tales and tries to re-create, with computers, a legendary lost sound.
This program also features,for the first time in Britain, American male soprano Michael Maniaci, a young Baroque opera singer whose voice did not break at puberty, performs Mozart's Exultate Jubilate, a piece originally written for castrato Rauzzini.
Shown as part of BBC's The Century That Made Us season
9pm - 10pm
5th July 2006
File Name ..........: Castrato - (20060712)(PDTV[XviD]).avi
Total Size (MB) ....: 531.56 MB
Video Length .......: 00:58:57
Video Codec Name ...: XviD MPEG-4 codec
Video Bitrate ......: 1004 KB/s
Resolution .........: 608 x 336
Aspect Ratio .......: 1.80:1
Framerate ..........: 25 FPS
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