Opera 21 Releases Scenes From Upcoming Work “The Last Castrato”

The new company Opera 21 has released excerpts from their upcoming work, “The Last Castrato”.

The opera follows the private life of Alessandro Moreschi, who was the last castrato singer employed by the Pope. Composed by Torsten Rasch and to a libretto by Max Hoehn, the excerpts feature countertenor Andrew Watts, a leader in the contemporary repertoire, as well as soprano Rebecca Bottone, bass-baritone Alan Ewing and The Chroma Ensemble, under the conducted by Gerry Cornelius, who is the new Music Director of the English Touring Opera.

“Alessandro Moreschi’s first recordings in 1902-1904 are deeply mysterious and haunting documents for a listener. They are available on YouTube with a single click and, as the comments section shows, always elicit a wide range of reactions from horror to macabre fascination, ”Hoehn told OperaWire. “This was the initial inspiration to deepen this man’s life. When it turned out that recent research revealed that he had challenged his employer, the Catholic Church and all of society by deciding to marry a much younger woman and then later adopting his son (from another man), I knew that we could afford a great opera here.

Opera 21 was founded earlier this year by Hoehn, in order to provide a space to develop and present new works, as well as to support composers and artists with a new commissioning model. The company seeks to present the excerpts and generate interest in commissioning the rest of the opera. They are available on the company’s website SoundCloud and Youtube pages.

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