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Cecilia Bartoli channels castrato Farinelli / Interlochen Public Radio

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The castrato Farinelli was one of the most celebrated singers of the eighteenth century. In a new album on the Decca label, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli performs repertoire that was written specifically for Farinelli to sing. Castrated when he was about 12 years old, Farinelli (born Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi in 1705) had become a star on the Italian operatic stage by the time he was 20.  Opera composers including Johann Adolf Hasse, Nicola Porpora and Riccardo Broschi (the singer's brother) all wrote music specifically for him. Even George Frederic Handel invited Farinelli to join his opera company in London - without success.

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