For a truly innovative piece of theatrical magic that's based on a true story, book tickets for Farinelli and the King at the Duke of York's Theatre.
First performed at Shakespeare's Globe, this clever work by Claire Van Kampen stars acclaimed Mark Rylance as King Philippe V of Spain, a depressed monarch who is suffering from insomnia.
While searching for a cure for her husband's state, the Queen overhears angelic singing from Farinelli, a castrato whose voice has a powerful effect on anyone who hears it. On hearing this miraculous voice, the King is desperate for Farinelli to stay close by to lift his mood. But, being a great celebrity already, Farinelli is unsure about giving everything up to live a life of loneliness when he could be performing in the great opera houses.
This production features original arias actually performed by Farinelli and live musicians playing Baroque instruments.