Four years after their splendid debut on Broadway, Shakespeare’s Globe returns to the beautiful Belasco Theater with a show that in a few glorious ways resembles their spectacular Twelfth Night. Their production of Farinelli and the King, an original play by Claire Van Kampen based on an odd true story about an opera singer whose music helped heal a mad king, gives us the gift of another opulent set and authentic-looking period costumes, and of another fine British cast again starring the always watchable Mark Rylance.
If Van Kampen’s script unsurprisingly falls far short of Shakespeare, Farinelli and the King also features what should count as a secret weapon — the singing of Iestyn Davies, a countertenor who provides what surely is the closest possible version in modern times to the arias sublimely rendered by the superstar castrati of the 18th century such as Farinelli.
Full review on DC Theatre Scene
Click on any photograph by Joan Marcus to see it enlarged.
Heavenly Voices: Legacy of Farinelli