- Category : Entertain-Music-Vocalist-Opera
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/3 - Role Model / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Defiance 2
Italian castrato singer of the late 19th century, who was the only castrato to have made sound recordings.
It is possible that he was born with an inguinal hernia, for which castration was still thought to be a cure in nineteenth-century Italy. Another possibility is that he was castrated later, around 1865, which would have been more in line with the centuries-old practice of castrating vocally talented boys well before puberty. In any case, much later in life, he referred to his enjoyment singing as a boy in the chapel of the Madonna del Castagno, just outside his native town.
In 1873, aged only fifteen, he was appointed First Soprano in the choir of that basilica, and also became a regular member of the groups of soloists hired by Capocci to sing in the salons of Roman high society. In 1883 he appeared in the first performance in Italy of the oratorio Christus am Ölberge by Beethoven, in which Moreschi sang the demanding coloratura role of the Seraph. On the strength of this performance, he became known as l'Angelo di Roma, and shortly after, having been auditioned by all the members of the Sistine Chapel choir, he was appointed First Soprano there, a post he held for the next thirty years.
In the spring of 1902, in the Vatican, Moreschi made the first of his recordings for the Gramophone & Typewriter Company of London. He made additional recordings in 1904: there are seventeen tracks in all.
He died on 21 April 1922.