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The CastratoReflections on Natures and Kinds$
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Martha Feldman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520279490

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520279490.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

The Man Who Pretended to Be Who He Was

The Man Who Pretended to Be Who He Was

A Tale of Reproduction

(p.40) 2 The Man Who Pretended to Be Who He Was
The Castrato

Martha Feldman

University of California Press

Chapter 2 explores the symbolic stakes in chapter 1 by examining real-life claims of generation, often male-to-male, as manifest in operatic stagings and contests (on stage and off), the fashioning of life stories, attempts at marriage and affiliation, friendship networks, and amorous ties. It asks how castrated singers accepted, disseminated, and devolved wealth, and it shows—through recourse to castrato scores and writings—why such creatures could be outrages against social norms yet continually return society to the very rules and banalities they exceeded. Farinelli and Senesino are objects of the principal study, along with the barely known but immensely prolific satirical autobiographer Filippo Balatri, who acts as a searchlight throughout chapters 1 and 2.

Keywords:   reproduction, Farinelli, Senesino, patriarchy, opera, blood, marriage, generation, Handel, Pergolesi, gender, Filippo Balatri

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