Subscribe to our daily email of featured TEDxTalks

This video was filmed at an independently organized TEDx event and uploaded by the organizer. To flag a video (good or bad!), use this form.

The Castrated Opera Singer | Brianna Robertson-Kirkland | TEDxGlasgow
Viewed 463 times
Added Jun 29, 2016
Share this story
The castrato was one of the most popular voices in eighteenth-century opera, but the voice was a man-made creation, formed out the barbaric act of castrating young boys. Yet, their popularity fashioned a standardised way of training and has shaped the sound of the modern opera singer. In her talk, Brianna will look at the impact the castrato has had on opera singing and how the world of opera continues to be disrupted by the legacy of the castrato.

Brianna Elyse Robertson-Kirkland graduated with 1st class honours from The University of Glasgow, Bachelor of Music degree. She was granted the Edward Caird Award to allow her to continue her studies in a joint degree course between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Glasgow studying for a Masters of Historically Informed Performance. She is currently undergoing PhD research on the 18th century castrato singer Venanzio Rauzzzini and his students funded by the University of Glasgow College of Arts Internship scholarship.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at