Castrati.

Hello, .

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I watched a fim called ‘Farinelli Il Castrato’, which is the life story of a boy who, at the age of 7, was castrated in order to preserve his unusually beautiful voice.

He then went on to become the the most amazingly famous 18th century opera singer, using the professinal name of Farinelli.

I would most thoroughly recommend it….the film that is, not the forcible castration of young boys who sing beautifully!
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This subject interested me, so I have been finding out more about the whole practice.

It is hard to believe that people were prepared to have young boys castrated in order to preserve their perfect soprano voices, which would have been lost if their puberty had been allowed to progress naturall, and their voices had broken.

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So, when the castration was carried, out it stopped the larynx undergoing the effects of puberty.

The other effects of the operation were that the arms and legs grew very long, and also the rib bones.

This last effect allowed a huge lung capacity.

Castrati could sing as soprano, mezzo-soprano and contralto, as well as in the higher male singing range.

Such practices went far back into history to ancient civilisations, and there have been many castrati choirs.

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Castration was outlawed in Italy and France in the late 1800’s.

In Rome itself, the use of castrati lingered until 1903, when it was officially stated that only boys were allowed to sing, until their voices broke naturally.

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There are actually recordings of a gentleman called Allessandro Moreschi,made in the early 1900,s, and he was probably the last true castrato.

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There are men who sing today in voices very similar to the true castrati.

One such is a male soprano called Radu Marian.He is from a former soviet republic called Moldavia and he was already performing at the age of 7.

His voice is said to be due to an endocrinological disorder, which is natural.
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There is also Phillipe Jarousky, a French counter tenor.
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Amo Raunig, Austrian male soprano.
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And Vitas….watch Vitas for a while ‘cos he’s a bit different.
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I hope you liked the voices.

I certainly do.

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J.X.

PS.  For another modern take on this subject.

You can get a hardcover deluxe book and a 2 CD limited edition of Cecilia Bartoli singing the beautiful music inspired by the Castrati voices.
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The release date of… Sacrificium… is 12th October 2009 but you can pre-order now at….

www.ceciliabartolionline.com

She is amazing, with such passion.

I very much enjoyed the created picture of Cecilia’s head, superimposed upon a male body, which was used to illustrate this fascinating subject.

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The book looks incredibly interesting.  It is everything you could want to know about the fascinating subject.

Hear and read all about the lost world of the Castrati.

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This has to be ‘The Present’ for the person who has everything, and surely a new experience for the avid music lover.

Beats a scarf and socks, or the old ‘huge box of chocolates’, any Christmas Day.

It includes 11 world premiere recordings.

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PPS.  Thank you U Tube…what would we do without you!

Adult Poem: Just One Look.

Just One Look.

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there’s no rythmn

to this feeling

for this feeling

there’s no rhyme

you just see him

and your feelings

are forever

out of time.

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Poem: The Doggelganger.

The Doggelganger.

(A man’s best friend is his doggelganger)

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People always say you’ll find

That owners and their pets,

Grow more alike with passing years

You see it at the vets.

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My butcher has a Boxer dog,

They share a fierce mien,

My uncle and his Corgi are

A pair of portly men.

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My Granny loves her Poodle pet,

Both tightly permed and bustled,

And big lads with Rottweiler dogs

Are similarly muscled.

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X Factor final. Who goes today. 11th October.

Greetings Peeps.

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Who will leave tonight in the first public vote?

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I guess if Cheryl and Danni had the power it would definitely be Kandy Rain, the ex-pole dancers.

But as it is not up to them it will be interesting.

It’s on now so I must be off to watch it.

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Louie was not in the studio tonight, because Steven Gateley, from Boyzone died last night.

He died suddenly on Majorca at only 33.

He was on holiday there with his partner Andy Cowles.

The cause of death is as yet unknown.

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Alexandra Burke, last years winner, performed her newest song.

It was a fine performance.

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Then we had an apology from Danni Minogue, for what she said to Danyl last night.

So that’s alright then!

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Robbie Williams was back and also gave a fine performance, with all his usual showmanship.

Weird song though.

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Then we had the results of the public vote.

First we were told that John and Edward were safe.

Simon’s face was a picture.  It would be his worst nightmare if they won.

Almost makes you want them too!

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The last two remaining were Rachel and Kandy Rain.

Rachel sang in tune tonight.  Much better than last night.

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So who went.

Cheryl and Danni voted for Kandy Rain to go.

Simon voted for Rachel to go.

It was obvious that Louie would have voted for his own group, so it went back to the public vote and who received the lowest number.

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Kandy Rain are out.

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Next week the guest is Whitney Houston, and Cheryl will perform her new solo record.

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Be there or be square!

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LOL

J

Previous X Factor blogs

Future X Factor links.

Adult Poem: So Fuck You.

so fuck you

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i looked in your handbag

and what did i find

but secrets being kept

about your state of mind

you swore we were tight

it was all in my head

but the texts on your phone

say what you never said

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X Factor Results Plus Links To Video.10th October.

Hey there,

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Well, the real contest has begun tonight, with twelve acts all hoping that they will not fall at the first hurdle.  The fascination being that one of them will go, but which one will it be?

This time I have given you links to U Tube so that you can access the acts immediately.

So many thanks to U Tube for providing such a marvellous resource for us all to enjoy.

I absolutely love U Tube!

 

First off was Rachel Adedeji.

She opened the show with a Robbie Williams classic, ‘Let Me Entertain You’.

Well, for me, she didn’t.

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Second act onstage was Kandy Rain.

At least I liked the outfits.

The reactions of Danni and Cheryl, to the group, were over the top.

They both made pointed comments that if the girls want to be known as singers then they should not continue dressing as pole dancers.

The girls wore more clothes onstage than I have seen Girls Aloud prancing about in, so the words Kettle, Pot and Black come to mind.

I liked their outfits too!

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Third was the very likable Olly Murs.

I really like Olly and I think that he could definitely make it to the finish.

He needs to relax, go with the flow and be totally cool again.

I love his moves too.

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Ricky Loney was up next.

He can sing but I did not like either the song or the performance.

His outfit was awful.  He looked like Laurence Olivier playing Archie Rice in The Entertainer.

Why don’t they try to help him look young and cool.

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Fifth was Stacey Solomon.

I did not really like this performance, but she could be good.

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Then we had Miss Frank.

They are improving.

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Jamie Archer next.

Very good, but so far, I liked him best singing the Kings of Loen song, ‘Sex On Fire’.

He could definitely win

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Eighth was LLoyd Daniels.

He is remarkably self possessed for his age .

A very impressive performance, what with all the dancers and the mist.

He’s a pretty little thing too!

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Lucie Jones was up next.

Unfortunately the song was too big for her.

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John and Edward.

They were very entertaining.

I bet they could make a living as models, if they are tall enough!

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Joe McElderry.

He was back on form tonight.  He could also win.

It was a much more sensitive performance from him this time.

He has a huge amount of promise, and a wonderful smile.

The only cautionary thing I would say is that he should not smile when the content of the song does not warrant it.

There is nothing wrong with being suitably moody!

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Danyl Johnson was last up.

His song was superbly sung.

It was a woman’s song, ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’.  Some of the judges were scathing about Simon’s choice before the performance, but it was an inspired one

He is definitely capable of winning if he can keep connecting with his audience.

.I have to say that Danni Minogue’s comment was totally out-of-order in my opinion.

Instead of just sticking to his singing, she really upset  Danyl by more or less asking if he was gay.

I do not think it was the time or place to address a performer’s sexual orientation.

Whether he is gay or not does not affect his singing abilities.

She deserves a good smack.

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See you tomorrow,

J

Previous X Factor blogs

Link to Sunday 11th October show

Poem: Poor Johnny-No-Stars. Adult Content.

poor johnny-no-stars

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poor johnny-no-stars

works in the burger bars

wishes one girl in the place

would gladly sit upon his face

although his wants are very few

his little wish will not come true

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This phrase ‘johnny-no-stars’ was one I came across when I found a website called London Slang.  It amused me and stimulated me two write two poems using London slang.

If you would like to visit the site then you can follow this link.

This is the link to the other poem: London Boy.

Poem: London Boys. Adult Content.

London Boy.

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She was an aeroplane blond

If you know what I mean,

Wiv an aeroplane skirt,

Sex on legs, from a dream.

So I sank a few Britneys

An asked what she charged,

But she kicked-in me Jackson’s

For giving it large.

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This is another poem that I enjoyed writing after reading a site that gives examples of London slang.

It was a very funny read for me.

I think that slang, like rap, is a form of modern poetry.  One I enjoy greatly.

If you are not burdened with too much of a W.I. disposition then you might like to follow the link and read it yourself as you will probably need the translations.

Link to the previous poem: Johnny-no-stars.

The Milky Bar Kid.

Hello, hello, hello,

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I know what you are thinking.

Why do I say that three times, when just once, would do fine.

What am I adding to the greeting by saying it that way.

It is just overkill…and general showing off.

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Well, words are free, and I am feeling generous!

So come on, lighten up, it is Saturday.

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I do not know why I feel in such a good mood today, but I do, and that’s good.

It probably means that the day will go along wonderfully, just because my mood is so up, up, up.

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Don’t you agree with me?

If I was in a low mood then I would notice every less than excellent thing and put a negative slant on it.

I have great faith in the ability of us humans, to see what we want and expect to see, and therefore ignore all contrary auditory, sensory or commonsense input totally.

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My father was very capable of doing that,  and I can remember one particular instance, right off the top of my head.

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I was in my teens, and one day, when I was alone in the house, I got a long spelk of wood buried in my finger, but which I eventually managed to pull out with a pair of tweezers.

I was a bit worried about it though, because I had just been reading that, if you got a deep puncture wound, and it did not bleed, then you could get Tetanus from it because the wound would not get washed out.

It therefore seemed sensible to fill up a pint glass with water and pour in a lot of Dettol disinfectant, before putting my fingers in, and hopefully letting the disinfectant permeate the wound, and hopefully that would be enough stop me dying a horrible death from an untreatable disease.

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As you have probably gathered by now, I am blessed with far too much imagination for my own comfort.

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Earlier that day, I had had a small altercation with my father, because when he went to get a cup of tea at breakfast time there had been no milk left in the bottle.

He said that I had been greedy and drunk all the milk so that there was none left for his cuo of tea.

I argued that I had not done it, which was the truth, but because I loved a drink of milk he did not believe me.

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My father had finally gone off to work feeling very annoyed with me , and I was left feeling very badly done to in turn, but I soon forgot all about the whole thing and was looking forward to Big H coming to pick me up, so that we could go out and party.

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Once I had stood in the kitchen for ages, holding my fingers in the disinfectant, I went into the bathroon to wash my hands and put on an Elastoplast band aid, if the wound looked OK.

I had left the glass on the bench, in case I needed to give it another soak .

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I don’t know if you have ever used Dettol.  It is a transparent, orangey coloured liquid, but when you pour it into water it all goes very, very milky looking.

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When I eventually walked back into the kitchen, my father was standing there, looking at me.  He had the pint of Dettol water clasped in his hand,

I looked at him, a bit confused.

“Ha Ha”, he said to me, “I think that I win this one!”

Totally bemused, I watched him quickly lift up the glass and swiftly swig down the whole of the contents as if it was beer, right down  to the last drop, before thumping it  back down, empty, onto the bench top.

“So how do you like that then” he said triumphantly, before his face crumpled into an expression of total and complete horror.

He staggered about, clutching his throat, before disappearing off into the bathroom at great speed, and staying in there for ages.

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Oh god, it was hilarious.

I absolutely wet myself laughing, I was in hysterics, and every time I tried to  stop, I kept seeing his face again, and off it all started again.

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He had been so determined to drink my milk, that he totally disregarded the smell, the cloudiness, and the faint pink colour down towards the bottom of the glass.

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It was months before he was able to see the funny side.

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Fun days.

Have a fun day yourself, but stick to your own drinks ‘cos it is safer that way.

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LOL

J

In case you are wondering, spelk is a Geordie term for a splinter of wood.

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Adult Poem: Just Leave It Out.

just leave it out

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you’re sneaking

round my business

like a second-hand

Clouseau

i’d rather that

you asked me what

you want to bloody

know

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