castrato

[ka-strah-toh, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-taw]
noun, plural castrati [ka-strah-tee, kuh-; Italian kah-strah-tee] .
a male singer, especially in the 18th century, castrated before puberty to prevent his soprano or contralto voice range from changing.

Origin:
1755–65; < Italian < Latin castrāt(us); see castrate

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World English Dictionary
castrato (kæˈstrɑːtəʊ)
 
n , pl -ti, -tos
(in 17th- and 18th-century opera) a male singer whose testicles were removed before puberty, allowing the retention of a soprano or alto voice
 
[C18: from Italian, from Latin castrātus castrated]

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Example sentences
It is a common fallacy to equate the recently revived art of the countertenor with the presumably unrevivable art of the castrato.
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