Farinelli is the artistic name of Carlo Broschi, a young singer in Handel's time. He was castrated in his childhood in order to preserve his voice. During his life he becomes a very famous ...
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Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling, sometimes excessively lavish baroque scenery, music and costume, but this time in its... See full summary »
Aging opera singer Joachim Dallayrac retires from the stage and retreats to the countryside to school two young singers, Sophie and Jean. Although the rigorous training takes its toll on ... See full summary »
José van Dam,
It's late 17th century. The viola da gamba player Monsieur de Sainte Colombe comes home to find that his wife died while he was away. In his grief he builds a small house in his garden into... See full summary »
Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.
Vatel is in charge of the reception to the king Louis XIV. With the prince's political ambitions at stake, its essential to please him. But when he falls in love with the king's lover, passion and duty seem to contradict each other.
In the 1890s, Father Adolf Daens goes to Aalst, a textile town where child labor is rife, pay and working conditions are horrible, the poor have no vote, and the Catholic church backs the ... See full summary »
Antje de Boeck
Two Italian racketeers come to Albania just after the fall of the communists to set up a fictive firm and pocket the grants. They need a stooge. They choose an old one in a jail : Spiro. ... See full summary »
Enrico Lo Verso,
Farinelli is the artistic name of Carlo Broschi, a young singer in Handel's time. He was castrated in his childhood in order to preserve his voice. During his life he becomes a very famous opera singer, managed by his mediocre brother (Riccardo).Written by
Michel Rudoy <email@example.com>
Both male and female voices were combined to create the sound of Farinelli's singing voice. The male voice was Derek Lee Ragin, a British countertenor and the female Ewa MaÅas-Godlewska, a Polish mezzo-soprano. See more »
LIGHTING. In scenes that show stage lights and chandeliers, the focus on them is softened, but it can still be seen that the "lamps" and "candles" are in fact far too steady, and too smokeless, to be or to contain live flame. Gaslight was not brought into theatres until just after 1800 (in England), and limelight -- with real quicklime -- around 1820. Also, some outdoor lighting -- outside palaces, etc. -- is obviously too bright, blue- or green-shaded, smokeless, and sharp-edged to come from a bonfire. See more »
Famed 18th century (castrato) soprano Ferinelli invites a serious biographical study. This 17-18th c. period was, until recent times, skirted over by musicologists and music history teachers.
The result of this omission has been an unsuspecting awareness of the extent to which male performers dominated all forms of period theater, including opera, oratorio, cantata, ballet, and stage plays. "Ferinneli" had an opportunity to provide substantive information in filling this void.
Unfortunately, what resulted is just another Ken Russell-type production (a la "The Music Lovers," "Lisztomania," "Mahler," etc.). In fact, were Andre Corbiau's name not credited as director of "Ferinelli," one would swear this was a Russell composer biopic.
All Russell trademarks are there: excessive closeups of actors in dramatic distress, swirling activity to cover up script weaknesses, and disjointed highlights instead of sequence continuity.
Director-coscriptor Corbiau has Stefano Dionisi as Ferinneli forever falling down and collapsing both on and offstage for no apparent reason, and using the old device of having him hesitate to sing on cue before a full house to superficially create suspense and anxiety.
In fact, Corbiau, like Russell, is more intent on affecting than expressing: manipulating the viewer than sincerely sharing. As a result, one is held a arm's length of emotional participation throughout.
While no contemporary production can create a truly authentic period setting, there are questions which arise here: George Frederick Handel, one of the world's most prolific and fine composers, is reduced to that of a mere rival theatrical impressario; and Farinelli is forever acting oddly--claiming vocal loss, serious indisposition, and tripping out on opium. Indeed, at times this seems more like a baroque version of sex-drugs-and-rock-'n'roll.
On the brighter side, the staging of the operatic scenes are wonderfully on-target, having been obviously well-researched and meticulously designed. The combination real-and-computer-created vocal work is fascinating in its etherial timbre and in its negotiation of Handelean melismas, embellishments and assorted ornamentation. Likewise, the baroque pit orchestra and period opera house decor is strikingly detailed.
What a pity "Farinelli" fails in its main opportunity: to convey a simple, heart-felt story of one of history's most celebrated singers.
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