‘In an immaculately produced and beautifully illustrated short volume, Clapton sets the castrato in a historical context.’
‘Clapton’s story is told with wit, compassion and elegance.’
BBC Music Magazine
Alessandro Moreschi was known during his life as ‘The Angel of Rome’ and is remembered as the only castrato singer of whom recordings survive. Historically he was the last representative of the centuries-old tradition of castrating boy singers in order to preserve the pitch of their voices into adulthood – an act of cruelty that produced some of the greatest singers the world had ever known. Behind the extraordinary sound of Moreschi’s voice lay a strange and lonely life lived in the shadow of great events and great institutions, a personality glimpsed through inference and allusion.
NICHOLAS CLAPTON‘s twenty-year career as a counter-tenor has seen him particularly involved in performing the repertoire of the great castrati. He is a Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2006 he presented the documentary Castro for BBC4, and curated the exhibition Handel and the Castrati at the Handel House Museum, London. He lives in Oxford and Budapest, where he is a Visiting Professor at Ferenc Liszt Music University. Clapton is the also the author of Budapest: City of Music.