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Portrait of a Castrato

Politics, Patronage, and Music in the Life of Atto Melani

  • Author: Freitas, Roger
The book includes a survey of Atto's cantatas, polished, efficient exemplars of a fashionable new Italian genre, but in the end far less important to their creator than the wordly advancement... More…



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Estimated despatch time 7 - 10 days


  • Introduction
  • 1. Creating a castrato
  • 2. The politics of patronage: 1638-53
  • 3. In pursuit of prestige: 1653-5
  • 4. The sexuality of the castrato
  • 5. Disgrace and transformation: 1656-71
  • 6. Atto Melani and the cantata
  • 7. Completing the portrait: 1671-1714
  • Appendices: A. The letters of Atto Melani
  • B. Letters addressed to or concerning Atto Melani
  • C. Satires: Sopra Atto Melani musico and Al Signor Atto Melani
  • D. Excerpt from the Receuil des defenses of Nicolas Fouquet
  • E. Biographical sketch from Tommaso Trenta's Memorie
  • F. The cantata texts of Atto Melani, with analyses and translations
  • G. The Wills: For Italy
  • For France
  • H. The cabinet in the 'Salotto dell'Abbate Melani', from the inventory of 1782.