from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A male singer castrated before puberty so as to retain a soprano or alto voice.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A male who has been castrated, especially a male whose testicles have been removed before puberty in order to retain his boyish voice.
- n. A male soprano or alto voice produced by castration of the treble singer before puberty, intended to conserve his voice; the singer.
- adj. Castrated; especially castrated prepubescently.
- adj. Having, using or containing the voice of a castrato (noun).
- adj. Originally composed for a castrato.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A male person castrated for the purpose of improving his voice for singing; an artificial, or male, soprano.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A male person emasculated during childhood for the purpose of preventing the change of voice which naturally occurs at puberty; an artificial or male soprano.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a male singer who was castrated before puberty and retains a soprano or alto voice
In many ways, the castrato is the corporeal manifestation of Longinus 'theory of the sublime, in which hypsous requires a synthesis of nature and art that cannot be reduced either to capacity or to will.
A male singer who has, between the approximate age of six and twelve, undergone a surgical procedure to impede the "breaking" of his voice that would normally take place during puberty, the castrato is a male soprano, soprano meaning, literally, higher.
Such escape tactics, in which the image of the castrato is wrenched from the sound of his voice in the name of delicacy or comfort is significant both to the study of the castrato specifically and to the study of image/sound relations in romanticism more generally.
The body of the castrato is exceptional in part because of its lack — it cannot reproduce.
For, the castrato is not found but made (and self made), made to be extraordinary.
The mother presented to, me her other son, likewise very good-looking, but more manly than the 'castrato', although younger.
I thought he was a 'castrato' who, as is the custom in Rome, performed all the parts of a prima donna.
She made rapid progress in music, and at the end of six months she felt sufficient confidence in herself to sign an engagement with a theatrical manager who took her to Vienna to give her a 'castrato' part in one of Metastasio's operas.
He was also a ladies 'man, a kind of castrato Casanova, sleeping his way round Europe with rich men's wives who assumed the sex was risk-free.
I think he is a very pretty 'castrato', and 'I have seen many as good-looking as he is. "