noun (plural castrati /-tē/)historical
A male singer castrated in boyhood so as to retain a soprano or alto voice. The practice of castration was banned in 1903.
More example sentences
- We tend to associate Handel operas with high voiced prima donnas, the castrati and the sopranos.
- And there was a fascinating account of the castrati, the male singers who lost their testicles before puberty.
- The recital concludes with a rarely heard aria with cello obbligato from Arianna, written for the soprano castrato Carlo Scalzi.
mid 18th century: from Italian, past participle of castrare (see castrate).