Join Dr Joseph Talia OAM, opera singer, artistic director, teacher and scholar, in a musical journey across four centuries, enhancing our appreciation of the qualities that make Italian opera one of the most loved artistic forms of all time, as well as one of the most successful cultural exports of il Bel Paese. This first Golden Age of bel canto is regarded by some as the zenith of the art form. The period was characterised by a sense of wonder, that is, the supremacy of the senses and the human creative imagination over reality. This period is characterised by the rise of the castrati and the extraordinary heights they were able to reach. Unlike most of the boys who became castrati to improve the socio-economic status of their families, Farinelli and Caffarelli came from well-off families. Farinelli remains widely recognised as the greatest singer of all time, and Caffarelli was his greatest rival.