Moreschi - The Last Castrato

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
because I had cause to mention the castrati in a political thread my interest in this phenomenon was renewed.

it's quite an interesting evolution to the creation of castrati

probably started in the 8th century BEFORE Christ, emperors kept castrated males to be their servants, mostly to guard their harems for obvious reasons.

this is what the word "Eunuch" actually means BTW.

well, because those eunuchs that had a natural talent for singing would sing with an exceptionally pleasing voice after adulthood, there became a market for these particular singers who were castrated before puberty but were now adults

thus, a male castrated before puberty for the purpose of singing and not servitude is no longer a eunuch, now the correct word becomes castrato

poor parents actually thought they were doing their child a service of wealth by providing them an enjoyable and wealthy vocation for the rest of their lives.

Pope Clement VIII actually created a marketing campaign to have the castrate come and work for him on the Chapel roll...that was 1599.

parents would make up some kind of story why their child had to become castrated, like "he fell on that rock over their", or "the boar grabbed his nuts" (true)

anyway, long story short, there is one castrato that had his voice recorded, it was "moreschi, the last castrato"

quality of recording is obviously weak, but never the less, I would like to have a listen

if anyone has access to any of these tracks, could you please let me know?

thanx in advance

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