The Castrati

The legendary castrato Carlo María Broschi, Farinelli (© Wikimedia)

In the 18th century, it wasn’t the soprano or the tenor who ruled the operatic stage. It was the castrato. The likes of Farinelli and Pacchierotti were huge stars. Handel, Scarlotti, and Gluck composed for them, and women wore broaches of them pinned to their chest. But that fame came at a price.

Produced and presented by Chris Chambers

Euroquest August 3, 1999