Langford Proposes School for Castrati
Will Also House 4 Year Old Future Gymnasts In Basement
Birmingham () - Mayor Larry Langford continued to push forward bold initiatives for the city on Tuesday, when he proposed the establishment of a training academy for castrati, as a partnership of his office and the Birmingham Concert Chorale. The center would evaluate candidates for the program as well as providing partial compensation for the surgeries and years of voice training necessary to becoming a skilled castrato.
Langford highlighted this proposal during a speech addressing the problems of unemployment within the inner city, "In our early days, Birmingham thrived because of the conjunction of coal, iron, and limestone here. Today we have similar untapped resources in our medical facilities and in the choirs of our churches."
According to the mayor's office, several opera houses in Italy and Thailand have expressed interest in graduates of the academy. While there are many operatic pieces which require a castrato, the practice of castration before puberty fell out of favor when musical tastes and social attitudes changed during the 19th century. Langford believes that Birmingham represents a unique environment where this "ancient and honorable tradition can be resurrected in modern times."
UAB medical researchers and surgeons have been investigating the procedures necessary to create a modern day castrato while keeping the overall costs low. "As a teaching hospital, we are always looking for ways to open up new fields and to serve the community in any way we can," said UAB Director of Surgery Dr. Richard Fields, "Right now, we have some interns over at Lister Hill looking through old manuscripts, and I feel confident that we can improve on old techniques."
Mark Ridings, former BCC director, is less enthusiastic about the Mayor's new idea. "This could damage the careers of many young female sopranos, as well as negatively impact Birmingham's status as a major contributor to American Idol." During a late night phone interview, Langford dismissed these concerns as well as the persistent rumors of a castrato sequestered in City Hall for the personal delectation of the mayor and the city council.
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