Farinelli and the King is a new play by Claire van Kampen, directed by John Dove, designed by Jonathan Fensom, with musical arrangements also by Claire van Kampen.
Rylance plays King Philippe V of Spain. Plagued by insomnia, he 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?
The production also stars Grammy Award-winning countertenor Iestyn Davies as the singing voice of Farinelli. Davies will alternate performances with acclaimed countertenor James Hall, with Eric Jurenas serving as the role's standby.
The company also includes Sam Crane as Farinelli, Huss Garbiya as Doctor José Cervi, Colin Hurley as John Rich, and Edward Peel as De La Cuadra, Melody Grove as Isabella Farnese, Lucas Hall as Jethro and standby for Farinelli, Peter Bradbury as understudy for the roles of Doctor José Cervi, John Rich as De La Cuadra, and Margot White as understudy for the role of Isabella Farnese.
Farinelli and the King originally played at Shakespeare's Globe's Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in February 2015. The production later played a sold-out engagement on the West End in fall 2015, receiving six Olivier Award nominations.
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