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Contents

Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries

ATYS, THE KING’S OPERA

Chapter:
CHAPTER 3 Courts Resplendent, Overthrown, Restored
Source:
MUSIC IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

But of course the brave castrato voice referred to anything but itself. The one thing its brassy timbre never symbolized was actual eunuchhood. And so the last character a castrato might have effectively represented was Atys, or Attis, the hero of the ultimate courtly sacrifice-spectacle, known in its time as “the king’s opera” and cited not only as an operatic but as a literary classic by Voltaire, seventy-five years after its first production.9 Attis was a god of pre-Hellenic (Phrygian) religion, later taken over as a minor deity by the Greeks. Like Adonis, he was a beautiful youth over whom goddesses fought jealous battles. Cybele, the earth or mother goddess, fell in love with the unwitting and insouciant Attis, and so that none other shall ever know his love, caused him to castrate himself in a sudden frenzy. Like Adonis, he was worshiped by the Greeks as a god of vegetation who controlled the yearly round of wintry death and vernal resurrection.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 3 Courts Resplendent, Overthrown, Restored." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-03004.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 3 Courts Resplendent, Overthrown, Restored. In Oxford University Press, Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries. New York, USA. Retrieved 13 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-03004.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 3 Courts Resplendent, Overthrown, Restored." In Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 13 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-03004.xml
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