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Glasgow Skeptics visit Cafe Scientifique: The Operatic Castrati

October 2, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Cafe Sci Poster

So we don’t have an official Glasgow Skeptics event on this date … but our friends over in Cafe Scientifique have got something to tickle your fancy instead.

This month’s topic: The Operatic Castrato and his Anatomical Abnormalities

The operatic castrato was one of the most popular and sought after voice types throughout 18th century Europe. Yet, the voice could only exist after a heinous operation carried out on pre-pubescent boys to ensure they maintained their soprano voice. As a result of the operation, it was not just the voice of the castrato that was physically altered; rather his whole body was affected by the operation. In this talk, I will explore the anatomical abnormalities of the castrato and how these physical changes actually predisposed him for an operatic career. I will also address how these changes have had a lasting effect on modern-day opera star.

About the Speaker:
Brianna completed her PhD in 2016 funded by the College of Arts Internship Scholarship, which examines the 18th century castrato singer Venanzio Rauzzini and education and career of his operatic students. She is regularly performs in solo recitals and has taken part in masterclasses with Emma Kirkby, Robert Toft and Nicholas Clapton. She was part of a recording project for The Centre for Robert Burns Studies, which was also filmed as part of the BBC documentary Burns, My Dad and Me, that aired in 2016.

For more information about Café Scientifique:


October 2, 2017
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Waterstones Sauchiehall Street
163-157 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3EW United Kingdom
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