Set in eighteenth-century Spain, Claire van Kampen's moving and mesmerising new play tells the intriguing true story of Farinelli, once the world’s most famous castrato and one of the greatest celebrities of his time, and his decision to trade fame and fortune in the opera-houses of Europe for a life of servitude at the court of King Philippe V.
This sumptuous and enchanting play explores the dynamics between Farinelli and the royal couple, featuring many of the exquisite arias first sung by Farinelli in the 1730’s. The Duke of York’s Theatre will be transformed for this beguiling and transporting production, lit almost exclusively by the glow of candle-light and with live music played on Baroque instruments.
Mark Rylance last appeared at the Globe in 2012 in Tim Carroll's hugely lauded sell-out productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III, which subsequently enjoyed phenomenally successful West End and Broadway runs, also produced by Sonia Friedman Productions. His other recent theatre credits include Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem, (Royal Court, West End, Broadway) and this year he also starred as Thomas Cromwell in the BBC2 adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning novel Wolf Hall.
Claire van Kampen, founding Director of Music, Shakespeare’s Globe has created music for over 45 productions there, including The Duchess of Malfi with Gemma Arterton. A theatre specialist on music and text of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, her stage credits also include original scores for Matthew Warchus’ Broadway productions of Boeing-Boeing. La Bete and True West. Claire’s television and film credits include Peter Kosminsky’s Wolf Hall, Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous and Christian Camargo's Days and Nights.
The West End production will open in September 2015 for a strictly limited run at the Duke of York’s Theatre fresh from the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe, which completes its sell-out run on Sunday 8th March.