Monday 22 October 2012

GENDER DAYS: castratos and counter tenors.

in the long history of mankind many cruelties took place. 
some of them to please cravings for revenge, or out of pure evilness, or maybe to crusade other religions and 'the savage' or ... also the lovers of the fine arts. 

thus happend with the castratos, those beautiful men singing with angelic voices, equivalent to those of female soprano or mezzo soprano singers ... and above the usual pitch which a male adult person could sing. 
castratos were eunuchs, disposed of their male genitals when they were little boys, so that their voices could not break in their puberty phases. many of them died after this violent act, but those who did not became some of the first superstars of music, such as farinelli, senesino and pacchierotti ( ... see the resemblance to luciano pavarotti, one of the three tenors who died some time ago). 
those men had no sexuality, they were mere objects of desire for women and for those who loved the fine arts ... there is also a movie about farinelli from the year 1994 - you should watch it, it is worth seeing !

... back then people thought that men must be asexual so that they could keep their high voices. thus they were turned into eunuchs.

in recent years those castratos became famous again, due to their counterparts, the counter tenors. those tenors weren't disposed of their male genitals, but they still have the ability to sing as their female counterparts in mezzo soprano and contralto, due to a new singing technique which they acquired in long years of practice. among them such wonderful singers such as philippe jaroussky, andreas scholl and others.

my mother heard andreas scholl sing at klassikradio, and believed this was a contralto female singer. she wanted me to buy a CD for her featuring 'andrea scholl'. i had to tell her that this was actually a male singer and finally she got her CD. 

thus, men can remain their genitals and still sing with such wonderful, high pitched voices, just like women. and well, andreas scholl actually doesn't look that bad. he looks like a 'real man', as you like it ... but ... there is a question. we have to ask us, what is a male voice, then? and what is a man, if a man can sing like a woman? or a woman can sing like a man (listen to nina simone and alto singers)? or a woman can look like a man? or a man look like a woman (as seen with andrej pejic) ?

what do you think?


  1. great post! awesome songs!
    love your blog!
    would you like to follow each other?

  2. Ja, das Valentino Modell ist eine Frau. Wir hatten einen kleineren Ausschnitt des Bildes bei uns im Geschäft und da war es wirklich kaum zu bestimmen ob Mann oder Frau.
    Ich habe mich eine Zeit lang ziemlich intensiv mit klassischer Musik auseinander gesetzt und da sind mir natürlich auch die Counter Tenöre begegnet. Ich finde es wirklich unglaublich, was die mit ihrer Stimme anstellen können! Wenn es um traditionelle vierstimmige Stücke geht mag ich die traditionelle Verteilung in Männer- und Frauenstimmen aber besser - die Klangfarbe eines Mannes ist einfach anders als die einer Frau. Aber nichts lässt sich verallgemeinern;-) Und bei allen anderen Arten der Kombination ist diese unglaubliche Art des Gesangs sowieso eine Bereicherung.


Danke, dass du deine Gedanken teilst.