Vernon Lee (Violet Paget)

Farinelli

Farinelli

Farinelli

 1705~1782. An Italian singer of counter-tenor. His real name is Carlo Broschi. He is the most famous castrate and was popular all over Europe, especially in Spain. It is said that his beautiful voice stunned women. He and Metastasio worked together. Metastasio called Farinelli 'adorable Twin-Brother.'
 Vernon Lee. together with her friend, John Singer Sargent, visits a school of music in Bologna where she saw a portrait of Farinelli and was greatly impressed. In 'Winthrop's Adventure' and 'A Wicked Voice', a ghost of castrate, who is no doubt modelled on Farinelli, appears.
 Being a lesbian, Lee had a strong interest in castrates.
 In the preface to For Maurice, which contains 'Winthrop's Adventure,' Lee writes: "this famous singer Farinelli (Carlo Broschi nicknamed Farinelli or rather Farinello, born in 1705, died 1782) who, after dispelling with his songs the melancholia of one dotty King of Spain, Philip Ⅴ, became as indispensable to the somewhat feeble-minded Ferdinand Ⅵ, and was all powerful with both for some twenty years in the capacity of virtuoso di camera, and with virtue no less rare and consummate than virtuosity."

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