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  • Gaetano Berenstadt was an Italian alto castrato who is best remembered for his association with the composer George Frideric Handel. Berenstadt created roles in three of Handel's operas. Berenstadt's parents were German and his father was timpanist to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. By the end of his 27-year-long career Berenstadt had sung in 55 dramatic works, 33 of which were newly composed. Berenstadt was born in Florence. A pupil of Francesco Pistocchi, after singing at Naples and Bologna, Berenstadt visited London in 1717, where he performed the role of Argante in a revival of Handel's Rinaldo. The original bass part, sung by Giuseppe Maria Boschi, was transposed up for Berenstadt's alto voice and in this revised version the character has three new arias composed for Berenstadt to sing. After returning to Italy to sing at Rome and Milan Berenstadt came back to London in 1722 to sing for the composers of the Royal Academy of Music. It was at this time that he created the roles of Tolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare, the title role in Flavio, and the role of Adelberto in Ottone. He also performed in operas by Bononcini and Ariosti. Berenstadt left London in 1724 and returned to Italy.

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