Period drama set in the world of baroque opera in which a female singer masquerades as a castrato
Calori: Kirsten Robek
with Alex Zahara, Bernard Cuffing, Marilynn Gann, Laurie Brunetti, Keith Provost, Gardner Milner
Angiola Calori is a gifted soprano who dreams of being an operatic heroine. Unfortunately, she has had the carelessness to be born in the 18th-century Papal States, where only men are allowed on stage, and high-voice parts are sung by castrated males: the evirati ('emasculated ones'), or castrati, of popular legend. They were often big stars in their day, but also subject to much prurient sniggering about their sex lives. (The composer Joseph Haydn narrowly escaped the snip in his choirboy days by deliberately auditioning so badly they thought no amount of surgery would make him into a singer!)
So Calori masquerades as a castrato, Bellino, hoping to fool her way on to the stage. She manages to fool people who should know better that her pure soprano is coming from a man's chest, but when the anatomical inspectors come round - whose job, presumably, involves remarks about not being on the ball - things get rather interesting...