Domenico Sapio – Gods with no Olympus. The Lost Voice of the Castrati from Naples to Europe

Published by Intra Moenia, 2017

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Setting out from 18th-century Naples and travelling around the Old Continent in pursuit of the great singers from the Kingdom of Naples, this book masterfully tells the story of the “golden age” of the voices that delighted the stages of the greatest theatres in the world (Oltreirestinews)

In 18th century Naples and across Europe, music is everywhere. In this “golden age” searching for beauty and absorbed in the Baroque style, there is the painful story of the “angelic voices”, those castrati who, subjected to a brutal operation, were destined to sing from a very young age. The promise was a life of riches and honour, but often the outcome was an existence marked by that deception which pointed them in the direction of a future with no return. Hence, “Gods with no Olympus”, because the pages of this book follow the existence of those few who achieved success and of the many who, on the other hand, were dogged by physical problems, failure, dejection. So, who were these new gods? Where did they come from? What was the secret to their success? Who succeeded in performing in Europe’s greatest theatres? And who sadly left the stage, silently and alone? The answers to these questions are in the pages of this book that tells of those performers while also depicting an entire era. One that was to last until 1870, when the practice of castration was banned throughout Italy, leaving the fame of one Farinelli and many violated lives.

Domenico Sapio, after graduating in Literary Subjects, took a diploma in Piano and Coral Music’s Direction. Right now, Sapio teaches Poetical and Dramatical Literature at Conservatorio S. Pietro a Majella, in Napoli. Sapio has to its credits multiple compositions of chamber music, lyrics and Opera’s books.