The Broadway premiere of Claire van Kampen’s Farinelli and the King opens at the Belasco Theatre December 17. The production marks the return of Tony and Oscar winner Mark Rylance, who stars as an 18th Century Spanish King on the brink of madness.
Rylance reprises his performance from the show’s West End run in 2015. The play transferred to London's Duke of York's Theatre following a sold-out engagement at Shakespeare’s Globe. John Dove directs.
Like Broadway’s Twelfth Night and Richard III, the contemporary work is presented in the signature style of Shakespeare’s Globe, with traditional baroque instruments played live in a gallery above the stage. The story is told by candlelight for a more intimate theatre-going experience.
Farinelli and the King tells the story of King Philippe V of Spain, who, suffering with insomnia, enlists the castrato Farinelli to comfort him through song. As the king grows captivated, Farinelli is forced to choose between his fame as a singer and a life of solitude with the king.
The limited Broadway engagement of Farinelli and the King began performances December 5 and is scheduled to run through March 25, 2018.
The cast also includes Sam Crane as Farinelli, with Grammy-winning countertenor Iestyn Davies and James Hall sharing the singing voice of the title character. Rounding out the company are Huss Garbiya, Melody Grove, Lucas Hall, Colin Hurley, Edward Peel, Peter Bradbury, and Margot White.
The production features design by Jonathan Fensom and lighting by Paul Russell. U.S. casting is by Jim Carnahan, C.S.A., with U.K. casting by Matilda James. Sonia Friedman produces alongside Shakespeare's Globe and Paula Marie Black.