Carlo Broschi Farinelli

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Farinelli ★★ Farinelli the Castrato; Farinelli Il Castrato 1994 (R)

A movie to make men cringe. Floridly depicts the complex professional and personal ties of 18thcentury opera composer Riccardo Broschi (Lo Verso) and his younger brother Carlo (Dionisi), a celebrated castrato singer under the stage name “Farinelli.” In part, because of an early church prohibition against women singing in public, boys were castrated before puberty to preserve their pure soprano voices while vocal power and agility grew as they became men. Castrati were the rock stars of their day and Farinelli lived a flamboyant life before retiring to the Spanish court of Philip V. The castrato voice heard in the movie is an electronic mixture of countertenor Derek Lee Ragin and soprano Ewa Mallas Godlewska. French and Italian with subtitles. 110m/C VHS, DVD . FR IT BE Stefano Dionisi, Enrico Lo Verso, Jeroen Krabbe, Elsa Zylberstein, Caroline Cellier, Omero Antonutti, Jacques Boudet; D: Gerard Corbiau; W: Gerard Corbiau, Andree Corbiau, Marcel Beaulieu; C: Walther Vanden Ende; M: Christopher Rousset. Cesar '95: Art Dir./Set Dec., Sound; Golden Globes '95: Foreign Film.

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Carlo Broschi Farinelli (kär´lō brô´skē färēnĕl´lē), 1705–82, Italian male soprano, greatest of the castrati (see castrato), pupil of Niccolò Porpora, in whose operas he sang (1734–37) in London. Farinelli's real name was Carlo Broschi. Having won fame in France and Italy, he became (1737) official singer to Philip V of Spain and renounced his public career. His sole duty was to sing the same four songs each night to the king, from whom he received an astronomical fee. He enjoyed a highly favored position in Spain until 1759, when he retired to a castle near Bologna.

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Farinelli [ Broschi, Carlo] (b Andria, 1705; d Bologna, 1782). It. castrato singer. Début Naples, 1720. In 1723 sang title-role in Porpora's Adelaide. In 1727 was defeated in public exhibition of vocal skill by Bernacchi, who then taught him. Sang in Vienna and in London, where he joined Porpora's opera co. which was in competition with Handel's. Sang in Madrid, 1737, where Philip V offered him 50,000 francs a year to stay, which he did for 25 years, singing each night to the king. Was instrumental in est. It. opera in Madrid. Left Spain on Charles III's accession in 1759, living in Bologna in some splendour, collecting pictures and playing hpd. and va. d'amore.