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: