The London production of playwright and composer Claire van Kampen’s Farinelli and the King will arrive on Broadway this winter, starring three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Jerusalem, Boeing-Boeing, Twelfth Night).
Previews begin December 5 at the Belasco Theatre toward a December 17 opening night. Sonia Friedman, Shakespeare’s Globe, and Paula Marie Black produce the limited engagement that will continue through March 25, 2018.
Inspired by the true story of the Italian castrato opera singer, the play includes many of the Handel arias that were first sung by Farinelli in the 1730s. Music will be played live on Baroque instruments in a gallery above the stage.
Farinelli and the King will also offer several rows of onstage seating. Theatregoers who choose the onstage seating will have an up-close and intimate experience.
John Dove directs the production that will feature Rylance alongside his original London cast members Sam Crane as Farinelli, Huss Garbiya, as Doctor José Cervi, Colin Hurley as Metastasio, and Edward Peel as De La Cuadra. The production also stars Grammy Award-winning countertenor Iestyn Davies as the singing voice of Farinelli. Davies will share the singing role of Farinelli with another artist to be announced.
Here’s how it’s billed: “King Philippe V of Spain (Rylance), plagued by insomnia, lies awake in his chamber. The Queen, desperate for a cure, hears of Farinelli—a castrato with a voice so divine it has the power to captivate all who hear it. 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?”
Farinelli and the King premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2015, before transferring to a sold-out engagement in the West End in Fall 2015, where it was the highest grossing show in the history of the Duke of York’s Theatre, and received six Olivier Award nominations. The production is designed by Jonathan Fensom.
General on-sale will begin on May 22 at 10 AM via Telecharge.com. An on-sale date for onstage seating will be announced at a later date.
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