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Colm Tóibín: Sex Lives of the Castrati, 8 October 2015

The Castrato: Reflections on Natures and Kinds 
by Martha Feldman.
California, 454 pp., £40, March 2015, 978 0 520 27949 0
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Portrait of a Castrato: Politics, Patronage and Music in the Life of Atto Melani 
by Roger Freitas.
Cambridge, 452 pp., £22.99, May 2014, 978 1 107 69610 5
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... dressed up in drag by the princess and her girls for fun’. In Portrait of a Castrato, Roger Freitas writes that ‘contemporaries frequently regarded castrati as analogues to boys … The castrato does seem frequently to have taken the boy’s role in sodomitical sex.’ Thus castrati could shift and transform themselves. Everybody, it ...

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