In Opera, a Different Kind of Less Is More: ‘Handel and the Castrati’

By ALAN RIDING [NY Times, 19 April 2006]
LONDON, April 13 ó More than most art forms, opera demands a suspension of disbelief. For a long time this included accepting that a man could sing with the voice of a woman. It was not a natural gift, but the results often drove audiences wild: castrati, as they were known, were among the rulers of the 18th-century opera stage.