One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The principal male singer in an opera or opera company.
- ‘From the late seventeenth century the central male operatic role (primo uomo) in opera seria was sung by a castrato.’
- ‘In another time he would have plotted with the primo uomo to sing badly and ruin one of my operas, or with others of his ilk to spread rumors about me.’
- ‘The prima donna and primo uomo (the hero, generally a castrato) each had at least one large-scale display aria in every act, followed by an exit.’
Italian, literally ‘first man’.
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