Mark Rylance as King Phillippe in Shakespeare’s Globe’s ‘Farinelli and the King.’ Photo by Marc Brenner.
Mark Rylance Returns to Broadway For Shakespeare’s Globe’s Production
A New Play By Claire Van Kampen, Directed By John Dove
Strictly Limited Run Opens Sunday, December 17 At Broadway’s Belasco Theatre
Mark Rylance returns to Broadway in the critically acclaimed Shakespeare’s Globe production of Farinelli and the King, starring the three-time Tony Award-winner (Twelfth Night, Jerusalem, Boeing-Boeing) and Academy Award-winner (Bridge of Spies). Previews begin tonight in advance of an opening night on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at Broadway’s Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street). The production plays a strictly limited engagement for 16 weeks only through Sunday, March 25, 2018.
King Philippe V of Spain (Rylance), plagued by insomnia, 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? In its five-star review, The Independent hailed Farinelli and the King as “a pitch-perfect production by John Dove. Mark Rylance’s Phillipe is like the love child of Stan Laurel and Hamlet.”
Rylance returns to the Belasco, where he triumphed with the Globe’s double bill of Twelfth Night and Richard III. Mark Rylance won his third Tony Award for his performance as Olivia in Twelfth Night and was also Tony nominated for his performance in the title role of Richard III.
Farinelli and the King is Rylance’s first return to Broadway since he won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, and after his critically acclaimed performance in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.
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.
Joining London cast members Sam Crane (1984, BBC’s “Desperate Romantics”) as Farinelli, Huss Garbiya (Some People, A Midsummer’s Night Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe) as Doctor José Cervi, Colin Hurley (Twelfth Night/Richard III) as John Rich, and Edward Peel (“London’s Burning,” A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe) as De La Cuadra, will be Melody Grove (Much Ado About Nothing, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart) as Isabella Farnese and Lucas Hall (King Charles III, Tales from Red Vienna) as Jethro/cover Farinelli. The company also features Pete Bradbury (King Charles III, The Norman Conquests) as cover for the roles of Doctor José Cervi, John Rich and De La Cuadra, and Margot White (Love, Love, Love, Constellations) as cover for the role of Isabella Farnese.
Grammy Award-winning countertenor Iestyn Davies also stars as the singing voice of Farinelli. Mr. Davies has performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Royal Opera House and La Scala. He also stars in the Metropolitan Opera’s North American premiere of The Exterminating Angel in October.
Davies will alternate performances with acclaimed countertenor James Hall, who has performed with the Academy of Ancient Music, La Nuova Musica, the Dunedin Consort, the Monteverdi Choir, the Binchois Consort, Classical Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and the Royal Opera House. The schedule of Mr. Davies and Mr. Hall’s performances is available on the Farinelli and the King website.
The singing voice of Farinelli will be covered by Eric Jurenas, who has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Philadelphia, Wolf Trap Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Juilliard 415, and The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, among many others.
Sam Crane, Iestyn Davies, Huss Garbiya, Melody Grove, James Hall, Colin Hurley, Edward Peel and Mark Rylance are appearing with the support of Actors’ Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance of this production.
Sonia Friedman Productions, Shakespeare’s Globe and Paula Marie Black join forces once again (Richard III and Twelfth Night) to bring this inspiring true story, featuring many of the exquisite arias by Handel first sung by Farinelli in the 1730s, to a magically transformed Belasco Theatre. Music will be played live on Baroque instruments by seven musicians in a gallery above the stage, lit almost exclusively by the glow of candlelight.
The production will offer several rows of on-stage seating. Theatregoers who choose the on-stage seating will have an up-close and intimate experience. On-stage seating will go on sale at a later date to be announced.
Over 200 seats a performance have been set aside to be sold for $32. These $32 tickets include seating on all levels of the theatre, as well as Globe-style on-stage seating, bookable in advance. Over 25,000 $32 tickets are available throughout the run.
Farinelli and the King premiered to rave reviews and played a sold out run 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, where it was the highest grossing show in the history of the Duke of York’s Theatre, and received six Olivier Award nominations. Farinelli and the King marks the seventh theatre production that Sonia Friedman Productions has produced starring Mark Rylance, following Twelfth Night, Richard III, Jerusalem, La Bête, Boeing-Boeing (London and New York) and Nice Fish (London).
Lighting design is by Paul Russell. UK Music Supervisor is Bill Barclay. Production Stage Manager is Evangeline Rose Whitlock. Stage Manager is James Latus. US Casting is by Jim Carnahan, C.S.A. UK Casting is by Matilda James. Production Management is by Aurora Productions. UK General Management is by Sonia Friedman Productions. US General Management is by Bespoke Theatricals.