Everyone has his or her own cultural touchstones, and for Riccardo Muti, the death of Michael Jackson has apparently made him think of the castrati. It's hard to know how scholars and cultural historians could have missed this one, but the conductor, having become aware of Jackson in the 1980s when he was music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has made a canny connection.
Our pal in Milan, Opera Chic, picked this up reading Corriere della Serra.
Here is Muti on Jackson:
"He is without a doubt one of the most legendary, controversial (and beloved) singers of all time... His controversial story, his weaknesses, the extreme restlessness and his exhausted last days remind me of the lives of the great castrati like Caffarelli or Farinelli, who became objects of adoration and idolatry. And they often became victims of this adoration".