Girolamo Bacchini (also known as Fra Teodoro del Carmine) was an Italian castrato, composer, writer on music, and Roman Catholic priest who flourished during the late 16th century and early 17th century. Bacchini was a carmelite monk who was highly active in church circles in Mantua from the late 1580s into the early part of the 17th century. During the 1580s he composed numerous masses for the Palatine church of Santa Barbara at the Ducal palace, Mantua which had been built by the then reigning Duke of Mantua, Guglielmo Gonzaga. After Guglielmo’s death in 1587, he continued to serve as a musician for the Mantuan Court and was active in Mantuan church circles up into the first few years of the 17th century. In 1589 a book consisting of several of Bacchini’s masses for 5 or 6 voices was published in Mantua. He was also the author of a treatise on music which is now lost.
He became a frequent performer in entertainments for the court of Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua in the 1590s. In 1594 he traveled with the Duke to Regensburg where he performed for Philipp von Bayern, the Bishop of Regensburg. In 1595 he accompanied the Duke on his first campaign against the Ottoman Empire in southern Hungary; a trip which also included the company of composer Claudio Monteverdi and poet Giambattista Marino. It is speculated that Bacchini sang the role of Euridice in the world premiere of Moneteverdi’s L’Orfeo at the court of Prince Francesco Gonzaga of Mantua in 1607. This is based on a 1608 letter to Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua which refers to “that little priest who performed the role of Euridice in the Most Serene Prince’s Orfeo”.
There is currently no available photo or artwork of Bacchini.
Dr. Michael Laurence Dillon was born in 1915 and was the first female-to-male transsexual to undergo phalloplasty. His brother, Sir Robert Dillon, was the eighth Baronet of Lismullen in Ireland. Michael’s mother died 10 days after his birth, leaving him to be raised by his brother and two aunts. Despite his female status, Michael felt male and wore men’s clothing. Dillon consulted a psychiatrist first to deal with his feelings.
Unfortunately the other man gossiped around town about Dillon’s desires to become a man and Michael fled the city. He found a doctor that was researching hormones and was willing to give him testosterone, the effects of which were not known yet. Soon Michael could pass as a man. By accident he caught the attention of one of the world’s few practitioners of plastic surgery. The surgeon performed a double mastectomy as well as provided him with a doctor’s note that allowed him not only to change his birth certificate information, but put him in touch with Harold Gillies, the man who was doing reconstructive penis surgery on injured soldiers and intersexed patients.
While Laurence Michael Dillon was waiting for Gillies to be free to operate on himself, he attended Medical School, his second tour in college. A former tutor of his persuaded the Oxford registrar to alter records to show that Dillon had graduated from a men’s college rather than a women’s college previously so that his academic transcript would not raise questions for him. Gillies performed 13 surgeries on Dillon and officially diagnosed him with “acute hyposadias” in order to conceal the fact that he was performing sex reassignment surgery. Michael spent 15 years as a doctor and a man. Eventually he became a writer and Buddhist monk, leaving all his money to future students. His transsexual identity was revealed later after his brother died and an issue of inheritance brought to light a missed document revealing a sister that had been born, not a brother.