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Posted by kill me | October 15, 2007 10:39 AM

Dammit! I thought it looked like that guy was lip-synching, but I didn't want to believe it.

Farinelli, the film, is definitely worth watching, by the way.

Posted by Levislade | October 15, 2007 10:55 AM

I just want to point out that the real singer, the beautiful Jessica Robins Milanese, has no testicles.

Posted by Gurldoggie | October 15, 2007 11:16 AM

Seriously?! That guy wasn't for real? That was probably the main reason I was into it in the first place.

That ... is really disappointing, to say the least.

Posted by louley | October 15, 2007 11:19 AM

The "Manitoba Meadowlark" - perfect!

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | October 15, 2007 11:26 AM

Amber: “Coach, my plastic surgeon says I can’t participate in any activity where balls fly at my face.”

Dionne: “There goes your social life.”

Posted by Original Andrew | October 15, 2007 11:30 AM

i saw a vietnamese countertenor perform @ st. julien-le-pauve in paris a couple weeks back. not quite as high as a castrati, but the combo of male vocal power & a female singing range was beautiful.

look how fucking la-di-da i am.

Posted by maxsolomon | October 15, 2007 11:53 AM

I love that recording of "the last castrato." It's really eerie. It can also be found HERE along with recordings of a Russian exorcism performed on a 16 year old girl, and the last 30 horrifying minutes at the Jonestown Massacre.


Posted by Katelyn | October 15, 2007 12:30 PM

How did you confirm that he was lip synching?

Was everything else done live?

Posted by stinkbug | October 15, 2007 12:31 PM

Thanks for writing about this, Brendan. I was curious as to how they planned to pull off a performance by a "castrato" in this day and age.

This discussion leads me to wonder how the tone, line and expressive quality of the original castrati would compare with today's classical singers? Wouldn't it be amazing to have a live, side by side comparison?

Or at least side by side lip-synching?

Posted by Sarah | October 15, 2007 1:00 PM

I thought they'd at least have a counter tenor. Lip synching seems like cheating. Ideally, we'd cut a young Italian boy.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | October 15, 2007 5:04 PM

Neat, thank you. It's a shame the only recorded castrato was so poorly trained. There's a Yahoo group: Castrati_History.

Posted by Amelia | October 15, 2007 7:04 PM

Moreschi's recordings which survive are rather drab and not a real representation of the true timbre of a castrato's voice type. These were done later in life (he was around 70!!!) and thus his voice had more than declined. Go watch Farinelli...a great movie that actually blended two voice types in order to closely match the timbre that a castrato would have had.

Posted by cunei4m | October 15, 2007 7:27 PM

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