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February 24, an auspicious day in early operatic history, and judging from the first clip, in the history of hirsute percussionists with a flair for period instrumentation.

In 1607, the premiere of Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo:

 

And 301 years ago today, in London, the premiere of Georg Friedrich Handel’s Rinaldo. They simply don’t make castrati like they used to anymore: