- a male singer, especially in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent his soprano or contralto voice range from changing.
Origin of castrato
Examples from the Web for castrato
Contemporary Examples of castrato
In his portrait of a castrato, Andrea Sacchi let a well-hung Apollo make up for the singer's loss.The Best of 2013’s Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik
December 26, 2013
The Daily Pic: In his portrait of a castrato, Andrea Sacchi let a well-hung Apollo make up for the singer's loss.NSFW, in 1641?
September 16, 2013
He laughed, a high-pitched chirp that sounded like a castrato.My Surreal Night With Michael Jackson
July 6, 2009
Historical Examples of castrato
This castrato had a fine voice, but his chief attraction was his beauty.
He laughed at people who said that a castrato could not procreate.
The castrato whom they did engage was Carestini, who, though less celebrated, was at any rate a singularly artistic singer.Handel
Edward J. Dent
I thought he was a 'castrato' who, as is the custom in Rome, performed all the parts of a prima donna.
My mother advised me to continue to give myself out as a castrato, in the hope of being able to take me to Rome.
- (in 17th- and 18th-century opera) a male singer whose testicles were removed before puberty, allowing the retention of a soprano or alto voice
Word Origin for castrato
1763, from Italian castrato, from Latin castratus (see castration).