A philandering ‘castrato’…..how does that work?

In cathedrals and abbeys, one’s eye is usually caught by the bold, audacious tombs and memorials that beckon our attention, but behind the scenes, sometimes hidden by the furnishings, you may find something of much greater interest and intrigue. Tucked in a corner behind the hymn books of Bath Abbey, I came across the curious character Venanzio Rauzinni, renowned male soprano and assumed by many to be a ‘castrato’.  He was born in Rome in 1746 but apparently, having travelled throughout Europe and visited many a lady’s bed, he set up home in Bath for the best part of 30 years, and became famous not only for his fine soprano voice, but also for his teaching.

But the teasing questions, raised by recent researchers, have pointed to the nature of his sexuality. It was believed, at the time, that he was a member of the ‘castrato’ class (baby boys were sometimes castrated at birth, on the instructions of choirmasters, so that many of them could play female roles at a time when women were not allowed on the stage).  Hence the fine male soprano voice. But it would seem this ‘castrato’ had been well able to court the attentions of the opposite sex in several cities throughout Europe. So much so, that he was a much scandalised figure, hounded out of a number of cities. You might well ask: how does that work? Well, the short answer to that is: it shouldn’t.

So Rauzinni had either been in full possession of his ‘sexual faculties’ and had been blessed with a natural soprano voice, or the tales of his sexual exploits were just that…………tales.

For further information, click here.

About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on February 9, 2012, in Aspects of Britain and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Olivia A wylie

    I love reading your posts because I learn so much I had no idea about the castratos nor the practice of doing this to babies. How awful! – Keep enlightening this American who is desirous of knowledge.

    • …..but there were some compensations. Their voices were in such great demand, they could make a very comfortable living. Rauzinni, in fact, was one of the richest men in Bath.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Bike 5

For trips of 5 miles or less, bikes are best!


KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

One Life, Two Wheels

Secondrate Cyclist

Pieces of life and the love of family mixed with the passion to ride


On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA


Cycling Europe on a Bike Called Reggie

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; currently cycling from Norway to Spain to Istanbul


Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich


FOSSIL - A Fine Old Senior Soul In Lycra

Pedalling on Regardless

cycle touring news, reviews, photos, videos and opinion

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings.


Jan and Paul's cycling journey

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living


The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child


Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs


................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,229 other followers

%d bloggers like this: