After its huge success at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Sonia Friedman productions have transferred Claire van Kampen’s critically acclaimed ‘Farinelli and the King’ to the Duke of York’s Theatre. Directed by John Dove and designed by Jonathan Fensom, the West End production will open on 14 September 2015 and play for a strictly limited run until 5 December.
Iestyn Davies stars as Farinelli alongside Mark Rylance who plays King Philippe V. Set in eighteenth-century Spain, Kampen’s new play tells the intriguing true story of Farinelli, once the world’s most famous castrato and renowned 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.
The show has sold out but extra seats have been released, including onstage seating from £10. Reviews below from the Shakespeare’s Globe production earlier this year, where Iestyn captivated and astonished theatre goers in the role of Farinelli.
“The crowning glory is that the role is sung by the peerless counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, whose sublime rendition of several Baroque arias fully justifies Philippe’s description of him as angelic.”
Michael Arditti, Sunday Express
“The great countertenor Iestyn Davies steps in, singing with such an intense beauty”
Ben Lawrence, The Telegraph
“A superb countertenor, Davies captures the piercing expressiveness and introspection of this remarkable figure whose voice proved so restorative for Philip…Davies’ sound is always sophisticated and crisp — and his high notes are ethereal.”
Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard
“Iestyn Davies sings with rapturous virtuosity and uncanny beauty those Handel arias that give the King temporary release.”
Paul Taylor, The Independent