Showing posts from March, 2014

The Castrato Poet

As I work on my current project, the Angelio Trilogy - about the friendship of castrato Carlo and bird-charmer Tammo in the fictitious city of Angelio - all sorts of interesting things come up in research.  This week, I've been writing a poem for use in book 2, and have turned for inspiration to the castrato poet, Filippo Balatri da Pisa (1676-1756).   As far as I know, Filippo is the only castrato who wrote about his feelings and experiences publicly.  He wrote a memoir in verse called Frutti del Mondo (The Fruit of the World) which tells of his travels as a singer, and some of his feelings about himself.  It is probably one of the best insights we have into how a castrato singer saw himself, his life and his fate. Here are some examples (in translation):- "I am young, Italian and castrated and seek my glory only through singing." "I was already made into a mixed gender, That is a soprano, and was quite young. I apply myself to singing in the most human style Doing