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Farinelli and the King [2015]

Written by: Claire van Kampen
Directed by: John Dove

History is bejewelled with mysteries.

Italy, 1731. Farinelli, the world’s most famous castrato, is rich, adored and lauded with honours. His divine voice has the power to captivate all who hear it.

Spain, 1737. Depressed and plagued by insomnia, King Philippe V of Spain lies awake in his chamber. The Queen, desperate to find a cure, hears of Farinelli - a castrato with a voice so divine it has the power to captivate all who hear it.  Even Philippe is astonished when Farinelli sings, and begs him to stay. But will Farinelli, one of the greatest celebrities of his time, choose a life of solitude over fame and fortune in the opera-houses of Europe? And will his extraordinary talent prove to be a curse rather than a blessing?

This intriguing true story is re-told in Claire van Kampen’s sumptuous new play, replete with many of the arias first sung by Farinelli. 

CREATIVES AND PRODUCTION

  • Designed by Jonathan Fensom
  • Musical Director /Harpsichord Robert Howarth

CAST

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