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Shakespeare's Globe

Farinelli and the King

By Claire van Kampen

11 February – 8 March

£10 standing
£25-45 seats
£60 premium tickets 


Iestyn Davies and William Purefoy

Mark Rylance
Philippe V

  • Farinelli and the King

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. King Philippe V lies awake. The Queen, desperate to relieve her husband of his insomnia and depression, begs the castrato to come and sing to the king. The effect is transformational. Philippe is healed, held captive by Farinelli’s voice – but so is Farinelli…

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.

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Please note: Celebrated counter tenor Iestyn Davies will sing the part of Farinelli for 10 performances while William Purefoy will take on the role for 6 performances.

Iestyn Davies will perform:
11, 12, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26 and 28 February and 2 March

William Purefoy will perform:
14 February and 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 March

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