Pier Francesco Tosi Archive

  • The instrument created through this partnership of altered nature and arduous nurture had a profound effect on voice training as well as a musical movement already craving for the spectacular. The unprecedented skill of the castrati demanded improvements in singing technique for all voice types. With the acceptance of the castrato voice, preferences of timbre also began to change so clear and strong voices were favored over soft and airy.

    The Castrati (Part 4): The Castrati Effect

    The instrument created through this partnership of altered nature and arduous nurture had a profound effect on voice training as well as a musical movement already craving for the spectacular. The unprecedented skill of the castrati demanded improvements in singing technique for all voice types. With the acceptance of the castrato voice, preferences of timbre also began to change so clear and strong voices were favored over soft and airy.

    Continue Reading...

  • As musical tastes moved from polyphony to monody and operas began to be performed, castrati were initially no more favored than any other voice type: roles were assigned to whomever was available, regardless of their register.  By 1680, however, the castrati had taken over the leading and often the secondary roles in the opera.

    The Castrati (Part 2): Castrati in Opera

    As musical tastes moved from polyphony to monody and operas began to be performed, castrati were initially no more favored than any other voice type: roles were assigned to whomever was available, regardless of their register. By 1680, however, the castrati had taken over the leading and often the secondary roles in the opera.

    Continue Reading...

  • The foundations of the bel canto method and style were laid during the creation of opera and monody solo singing in the late 16th century. As the new art form developed, virtuoso singers emerged on the international scene with almost inhuman agility...

    Bel Canto Singing: Tosi’s “Observations on the Florid Song”

    The foundations of the bel canto method and style were laid during the creation of opera and monody solo singing in the late 16th century. As the new art form developed, virtuoso singers emerged on the international scene with almost inhuman agility...

    Continue Reading...