'The book includes a survey of Atto's cantatas, polished, efficient exemplars of a fashionable new Italian genre, but in the end far less important to their creator than the wordly advancement their performances brought with it. Richly documented, this whole extraordinary chronicle of the eunuch as self-made man is one of the most absorbing studies in its field to have appeared in recent years.' The Times Literary Supplement
Exploring the fascinating life of the most documented musician of the seventeenth century, Freitas tells how the castrato Atto Melani rose to musical and social prominence. Whether Atto was singing, spying, having sex, composing, or rejecting his art, this book illustrates how music-making was always also a negotiation for power.