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    (January 24, 1705-July 15, 1782)
    Birth name was Carlo Broschi
    When his family noticed he could sing, they had him castrated.
    He sang high soprano roles.
    He claimed to have cured Spain's King Philip V of madness, simply by singing to him.
    There was a huge rivalry between his opera company and that of the great composer George Frideric Handel.
    A very boring movie about his life ('Farinelli il Castrato') was made in 1994.
    His vocal range was astonishing.
    He could produce 250 notes from one single breath.
    He could hold a note for more than a minute.
    He was the biggest opera star of his day.
    When he sang, the crowd would shout 'Long live the little knife!'
    His tomb was destroyed by Napoleon's armies.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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