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I am uncomfortable with Wikipedia's indebtedness to the 1911 Britannica. My uneasiness appears confirmed by spotting inconsistencies between what is stated in the 1911 Britanicca and the New Grove. I put more faith in what the New Grove says, so therefore I'm inclined to interpret contradictory information from the Briannica as being wrong.

For instance, New Grove says Broschi took the name Farinelli from an Italian magistrate. The New Grove has no article on Cristiano Farinelli, who, according to the Britannica, was a musician of some renown and therefore deserving of having an entry in the Grove.

But I could be wrong in my interpretations, so I have preferred to add information and refrain from deleting what is already there. Nevertheless, I do hope that the mistakes carried over from the 1911 Britannica are rooted out and the indebtedness to that old tome need only be acknowledged in the article's history. -- Anonymous User, 23 Jan 2004

I agree that basing articles on the old britannica is problematic. Indeed, I am an advocate of not using the old EB as the basis for articles at all. They are often a useful source, but don't quite cut it as starting points. I would say that if you find a more recent source that contradicts the 1911 EB, then move the questionable text to the talk page and ask for references. That way we don't perpetuate a possible inaccuracy by stating it as fact, if indeed it is perhaps wrong. --snoyes 17:53, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)
He was the nephew of Cristiano Farinelli, the composer and violinist, whose name he took.
I confirmed Anonymous User's statements regarding the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians. So I went ahead with Snoyes's suggestion to cut out the potentially false statement copied from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica and put it in here. Dmetric 22:17, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The original title of the movie directed by Gérard Corbiau was "Farinelli", and not "Farinelli il castrato", "Farinelli Voce Regina" etc. --Jack 13:17, 13 Jan 2007 (UTC)

I have just done a big edit on this page. There are certainly quite a lot of errors in EB 1911, and even New Grove isn't perfect. Since we're dealing with a figure from some three centuries ago, it would hardly be surprising to come across disputed facts and the like, but I have tried to be as accurate as possible in the light of the most recent published work on Farinelli, some of which I did myself. --Voxclamans 14:22, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Time of castration - difference to Italian Wikipedia[edit]

I am just watching a recording of Corbiaus movie, and checking a few facts.

As I read some other languages as well, I found that Italian Wikipedia states about Farinelli: "As the father was very passionate about music, he wanted to direct both his sons to a profession in the musial field. He had Riccardo, the elder brother, study composition, and Carlo, singing. It was thus the father who wanted Carlo castrated, an operation executed around the age of ten..."

By this account, Carlo would have become a catrato before the death of his father. French and Dutch Wikipedia concur with this version also.

On the other hand, a site on Pietro Metastasio goes with the version of English Wikipedia: that the death of the father and the loss of economic safety led the family to perform the operation on Carlo.

I wish I had access to the biography named in Italian Wikipedia: Sandro Cappelletto, La voce perduta. Vita di Farinelli evirato cantore, Torino, EDT, 1995. ISBN 8870632237 to clarify on this... At least, I can send an inquiry to the Centro Studi Farinelli in Bologna about it. After all, they even had him exhumed to perform DNA analysis in late 2006...!

Sandro Cappelletto's book is not definite one way or the other. -- 19:12, 12 August 2007 (UTC) Sorry, I forgot to sign in properly. --voxclamans 19:13, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Questions about new revisions[edit]

Not having looked at this page for a week or so, I was very interested to see the new revisions from LocaPixie. Could Loca Pixie please tell us the sources for the following statements: "that His [father's] unexpected death, at 36, on November 4 of 1717, and the consequent loss of economic safety for the family, could have been the cause for the decision to castrate the twelve-year-old Carlo, next to changing his voice"; and "He would take the stage name Farinelli, in homage to his patrons, the lawyers Farina whom, after his castration, would pay his singing lessons from Porpora. According to found documents, Carlo had undergone the cruel castration immediately after the death of his father at the end of 1717. This was the decision of Carlo’s elder brother, Ricardo, who was now appointed head of the family by Caterina Baresse and charged with the heavy task of supervising the surgical procedure. I would love to know what those "found documents" are. Thank you.--voxclamans 19:33, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry it took so long, but I finally found my source for the above mentioned quotes: Loca pixie 09:56, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for all this new information. I think you are perhaps not a native speaker of English, so I have edited your work somewhat.-- 15:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I forgot to log-in correctly last time, but I wrote the last note here, and have now finished the edit. Please feel free to comment. Spero che lei trova bene il mio lavoro.--voxclamans 17:11, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

You'd rather say "trovi buono il mio lavoro".

According to Patrick Barbier's book "Histoire des Castrats" Carlo's father, Salvatore Broschi, died soon after the operation of his son. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I too tend to consider P. Barbier's work as definitive on the matter. Today I added a new section, "The Artist and his times", which was badly needed for this singer, and which is largely based on the portrayal "Histoire des castrats" gives on the man. Finally, I merged the "Disinternment" section at the bottom of the "Reetirement and Death" section, where it properly belongs. It seemed a little creepy on its own...

      • Max Ventura, Italy. Notorious non-login'er. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I think that you are perhaps not a native English speaker, so I have revised your new section from that point-of-view. I also wonder whether it will meet Wiki's standards for being non-partisan, etc.voxclamans (talk) 12:49, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Death date[edit]

Did he die on 15 July 1782 or 16 September 1782? I see that Voxclamans changed this back in February ’07 – [1], but there’s no reason given for the change. -- JackofOz (talk) 09:31, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I've added the 15 July date as a footnote for now, until someone can demonstrate conclusively it's wrong. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 02:33, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Revisiting this issue: I see that most of the interlang versions say 16 September. Trouble is, there are more ghits (3,200) for "Farinelli 15 July 1782" than for "Farinelli 16 September 1782" (only 2,200). It's small change either way, admittedly. I want to know where these 2 widely different dates came from, and why one is correct and the other not. Can anyone help? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 22:06, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm not at home at present, so don't have access to my reference books. 15 July was long thought to have been Farinelli's death date, and Slonimsky and Grove V both appeared before more recent research showed this to be incorrect. If I remember correctly, both Grove VI (and Grove on-line) and Cappelletto's biography of the singer (the first, I believe, to publish a transcription of his will, dated after 15 July 1782) give the September date. If I can get the Wikipage to work, I'll post this on your talk page as well. All best wishes,voxclamans (talk) 07:36, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, vox. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 09:37, 23 July 2011 (UTC)