20 Mar 2006

Snip judgment

Rupert Christiansen laments the lost art of the castrato

[Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2006]

Some years ago, while my waking thoughts focused on a book I was writing about the history of opera singers, I had a dream in which I heard the voice of a castrato intoning Handel's "Ombra mai fu". I cannot properly describe the heavenly sound I heard, though I remember it vividly as something between the bellowing of a foghorn, a banshee wail and Kathleen Ferrier.

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