It is in 1562 that we find one of the first historical references to a castrato singer. He was a member of the Sistine Chapel's choir. Castrato voices have played a Major role in the sacred music and operas of the 17th and 18th centuries. Around 1830, castrati disappeared from the opera scenes, even though they were still present in the Vatican choirs until 1920.
Castrati often played female roles, while female singers often sung male characters, as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. In the last opera by Handel, Deidamia (1741), Achilles' role in women's dress was written for a soprano whereas the role of the young Odysseus was thought for the castrato Giovanni Andreoni.
The contralto Nathalie Stutzmann play with these dressing-up and ambivalences. After the success obtained with the disc Prima Donna, recorded with Orfeo 55 by Deutsche Grammophon, Nathalie Stutzmann is for the first time live on citedelamusique.tv and on medici.tv.
Nathalie Stutzmann appears courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon.
Les Arts Florissants, William Christie (conductor), Clément Hervieu-Léger (staging)
A documentary about French singer Nathalie Stutzmann