The Ambivalence of the Social Roles of the Italian musico

S. G. Kolenko


The rich history of Italian opera, which marked the beginning of the triumphant spread of this musical genre around the world, contains a phenomenon little studied in the history of music — these are castrato singers. The paradox is that these singers — whom few people know about today — were not only indispensable performers of the first operas, but did not leave the Italian stage for two centuries. Moreover, many of them enjoyed great success, were known in many European cities. The author of the article makes an attempt at a sociological study, which to some extent answers the question of why they were forgotten.


Italian opera; history of Italy; singers; social roles; gender roles; baroque aesthetics


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