29 January 2010

Castration

It seems to me that we cannot avoid reconsidering some aspects of Castration. So I had better put together a post on this for tomorrow or the next day.

12 comments:

St said...

One has to have balls to plan a post like that!

Fr LR said...

Yeah, and a brass pair at that!

Stefan said...

Fr H is absolutely right - this is precisely what I was thinking about on the train home this evening.

Fr LR said...

Rough commute, I take it?

Michael McDonough said...

Castration. What, as an element of the Anglican Patrimony?

Is that why the Irish never wanted to sing?

Fr LR said...

This must have something to do with Charles Martyr's son, James, for whom the last castrato to grace the court and "popish" chapel with his delicate feigns and tremolos was engaged. Giovanni Francesco Grossi (AKA Siface) sang Italian arias for the King in his sumptuous and outrageously expensive chapel at Whitehall. I believe it was the last time castrati sang in England...willingly. Considering such an exotic fete, is it any wonder James II failed to re-establish the full Catholic faith in England? It’s a long way from “Remember…”

Joshua said...

"I believe it was the last time castrati sang in England...willingly."

Afraid not. Handel frequently employed castrati during his tenure in England, especially for his operas.

The Grumpy Cleric said...

Father as I have advised you before, Mrs Hunwicke merely has to add bromide to your porridge of a morning & your problem will seem smaller & more tolerable.

Joshua said...

I believe one of the learnèd contributors to the great Oxford English Dictionary (who worked from prison, where he was perpetually imprisoned by reason of a murder he had committed while deranged) found the lack of bromide, shall we say, so distressing that he performed a startling self-amputation...

And I can never forget what a Dominican professor once said of Origen: He cut off his balls, and threw them into the crowd!

St Clement of Alexandria records a Christian in his own day who asked whether he might visit the doctor to gain some relief from temptations, but was told that such an operation was impermissible.

Fr Neil said...

With regard to Joshua's dictionary comment, the man concerned was a patient at Broadmoor (a secure mental hospital). There is a diverting story of James Murray (the compiler of the Dictionary) going to visit him under the impression that he was seeing a schoolmaster at Wellington College (a public school in the same village).

Malcolm Kemp said...

You can buy (or listen to an on-line extract from) a digitally re-mastered CD of the last ever castrato singer (obtainable via Amazon). It is horrid! Even worse than an old-style, badly trained, hooting male alto in the days before countertenors were properly trained by people who know what they're doing.

PS - no pun intended in my use of the word "extract".

GOR said...

Seeing as I completely missed where Father was going with Beatus Carolus Magnus, I am loath to speculate on where he is headed with this one!

Better to keep one’s mouth shut and appear ignorant than to open it and confirm the suspicion – as they say…