They were the idols of 18th century opera. The public watched their every move with fascination and thrilled to the other-worldly quality of their voices.
The castrati singers were men whose boyhood voices were preserved via castration. Mercifully, that horrendous practice ended long ago. But their incredible sound is still evoked today by countertenors, men who are specially trained in the technique of singing in a high register.
Tune in this Wednesday, September 21, 2011, to hear a broadcast of the Minnesota Opera's production of "Orpheus and Eurydice" by Christoph von Gluck. In the meantime, listen to this interview from last fall, when David Daniels brought his amazing countertenor voice to Classical MPR for a preview of the Minnesota Opera's "Orpheus and Eurydice" by Christoph von Gluck. Daniels as Orpheus sings the duet "Vieni, appaga il tuo consorte" ("Come, follow your husband") with co-star Susanna Phillips as Eurydice. An amazing and spine-tingling blend of voices!