Meet the Royal Company of FARINELLI AND THE KING, Opening Tonight on Broadway
The critically acclaimed Shakespeare's Globe production of Farinelli and the King, starring three-time Tony Award-winner (Twelfth Night, Jerusalem, Boeing-Boeing) and Academy Award-winner (Bridge of Spies) Mark Rylance, opens tonight, 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. Scroll down to learn more about the company, plus watch a trailer for the show!
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. Davies will alternate performances with acclaimed countertenor James Hall. The singing voice of Farinelli will be covered by Eric Jurenas.
Sonia Friedman Productions, Shakespeare's Globe and Paula Marie Blackjoin 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.
King Philippe V of Spain (Mark 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?
Pete Bradbury (Cover Dr. José Cervi, John Rich, De la Cuadra) - Broadway: The Cherry Orchard, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Hughie, King Charles III, Elephant Man (also West End), Casa Valentina, Cyrano, Picnic, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Championship Season, Norman Conquests, Man For All Seasons, Present Laughter, Hedda Gabler, Caine Mutiny, Herbal Bed. Off-Bway: Christmas Carol, Tom Durnin, The Overwhelming, The Violin, Snakebit, etc. Regional: Extensive. TV: "The Blacklist," "Deception," "Shades of Blue," "Boardwalk Empire," "Homeland," "House of Cards," "Sally Hemings," "Law & Orders," "Rubicon," etc. Web: "Darwin."
Sam Crane (Farinelli) - Theatre includes: 1984 (West End); Some Trace of Her, DNA, The Miracle, Dissonant (National Theatre); All's Well That Ends Well, Henry IV parts I & II, Bedlam, Othello (Shakespeare's Globe); The Shawl(Young Vic); Kebab (Royal Court); King Lear (WYP); Ghosts (Bristol Old Vic); The Humans (BAM); Eternal Love (ETT); The Lady from the Sea (Rose Kingston); Conquest of the South Pole (Arcola); Rabbit(Frantic Assembly); And Then There Were None (West End); A Little Requiem For Kantor (ICA). Sam received Ian Charleson Award Commendations for Ghosts and Othello. Television and film includes: "Desperate Romantics," "Call the Midwife," "Casualty," "Father Brown," "New Tricks" (BBC); "Poirot," "Midsomer Murders" (ITV); and feature The Christmas Candle. Radio includes: Macedonia, The Gambler, The Lady from the Sea, The Pretenders. Video Games include: Assassins Creed Syndicate (Ubisoft).
Iestyn Davies (Singing Voice of Farinelli) - Praised as having "one of the most glorious sounds to be heard on the opera stage today" by the Express (London) and described as "superb" by The New York Times, Iestyn Davies is a Grammy Award-winning and Olivier Award-nominated countertenor whose other recent awards include the 2013 Critics' Circle Prize for Exceptional Young Talent and both the 2012 and 2014 Gramophone Recital Awards. Davies is a regular singer at New York's Metropolitan Opera House and Carnegie Hall as well as across the globe at The Royal Opera House in London and La Scala in Milan. A versatile performer equally at home on both the opera and concert stage, Davies has also sung for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Paris' Opéra Comique, English National Opera, Milan's Teatro alla Scala and at the Munich and Vienna Festivals.
Huss Garbiya (Dr. José Cervi) - Theatre includes: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Blue Stockings, The Frontline (Shakespeare's Globe); What the Animals Say (Greyscale Theatre Company); The Taming of the Shrew (RSC); Estate Walls(Oval House Theatre); The Comedy of Errors (Royal Exchange Manchester); Sus (Splice Productions); San Diego (Tron Theatre Glasgow); Ash Girl, Quarantine (Birmingham Rep); Made of Stone (Royal Court); Soloman and the Big Cat (Southampton Nuffield Theatre); The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Nottingham Playhouse); The Snow Queen (Manchester Library); Wise Guys (Manchester Contact Theatre). Television includes: "EastEnders," "Holby City," "Wire in the Blood," "The Grid," "Brief Lives," "Buried," "Clocking Off," "The Bill," "Extremely Dangerous". Film includes: Some Voices, Sex Lives of the Potato Men.
Melody Grove (Isabella Farnese) - Theatre includes: Light Boxes (Gridiron); In Lambeth (Southwark Playhouse); Much Ado About Nothing(Old Vic); The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (National Theatre of Scotland); The Importance of Being Earnest (Lyric Belfast & Lyceum Edinburgh); Of Mice and Men (Lyceum Edinburgh); 2401 Objects(Analogue); Room, One Night Stand, One Thousand Paper Cranes (Tron Theatre); The Girls of Slender Means (Stellar Quines/Assembly Rooms). Film includes: Re-enactors (Roseline Entertainment); A Stately Suicide (Flyboy); Venus and the Sun (Ruby). Radio includes: Sovereign, The Antiquary, Tender is the Night, Vincent in Brixton, Lanark, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, The Call of the Wild, The Voysey Inheritance, A Case for Paul Temple, The Vanishing, Of Mice and Men, La Princesse De Cleves, and many short stories for BBC Radio 4. Audio books include: Desperate Remedies, The Child Inside, A Little in Love, Ann Veronica, Amy Snow, The Earth is Singing, The Ship, The Looking Glass House, Completely Cassidy and Ballet Stars. Melody is also a singer in her family band The Groves.
James Hall (Cover Singing Voice of Farinelli) - Current and future projects include GUILDENSTERN Brett Dean's Hamlet Glyndebourne on Tour, PALLADE L'Incoronazione di Poppea Opéra de Lyon Monteverdi's L'orfeo Opera Royal de Versailles with Monteverdi Choir, ADALBERTO Ottone Festival de Beaune, ZEPHYRUS Apollo et Hyacinthus Classical Opera, Coronation Anthems, Fairy Queen, Handel's Jephtha Academy of Ancient Music, First ANGEL/BOY (cover) Written on Skin Royal Opera House, Messiah Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, as well as a number of recitals throughout the U.K. and further afield.
Operatic highlights include PASTORE III L'Orfeo Bayerische Staatsoper, Monteverdi Choir and BBC Proms, ORONTE in Riccardo Primo London Handel Festival, SPIRITI and SECOND WITCH Dido & Aeneas Vignette Productions, OperaUpClose, Purcell's The Fairy Queen Temple Ensemble, CUPID and HUNTSMAN Venus & Adonis Dunedin Consort and Opera Lyrica, OSMIDA La Didone Ensemble Serse, EDYMION La Calisto Hampstead Garden Opera, BERTARIDO RodelindaAmade Players and OBERON (cover) in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Recent solo performance highlights have included Bach's Christmas Oratorio Solomon's Knot, Bach's St John's Passion Lavenham Sinfonia, St Matthew Passion and Monteverdi's Vespers St John's Smith Square, Bach's B Minor Mass St Alban's Abbey, Handel's Messiah with Ars Eloquentiae and Israel in Egypt La Nuova Musica, as well as recitals with Aln Baroque in London, and with pianist James Bailleau in Somerset.
James has also been involved in a number of contemporary projects including MILITARY GOVERNOR A Night at the Chinese Opera British Youth Opera, the premiere of Nathaniel in Na'ama Zisser's Black Sand Grimeborn, and Tete-a-Tete, Soloist in Unsuk Chin's Cantatrix Sopranica in Utrecht, Holland (Silbersee & Asko|Schönberg), HAMLET (cover) in David Bruce's The Firework Maker's Daughter The Opera Group (an Opera North/ROH2 co-production), and JOHAN in the world premiere of David Bruce's Nothing, a community opera led by Glyndebourne in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Lucas Hall (Jethro, cover Farinelli) - Broadway: King Charles III. Off-Broadway credits include Tales from Red Vienna (Manhattan Theater Club); Beyond the Horizon (Irish Rep); The Merchant of Venice, Othello and All's Well That Ends Well (Theater For a New Audience); Edward the Second (Red Bull Theater); and The Hasty Heart (Keen Company). Regionally, he has performed across the country in world premieres and classics at The Goodman Theatre, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Arena Stage, The McCarter, and Westport Country Playhouse, among others. TV credits include "Codes of Conduct," "Deception," "Elementary," and "Unforgettable." Lucas trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Colin Hurley (John Rich) - Theatre includes: Dream Play (Baz Productions); The Tempest (Norwich & Norfolk Festival); Farinelli and the King (Shakespeare's Globe); Twelfth Night & Richard III (New York, West End & Shakespeare's Globe); Anne Boleyn (UK Tour & Shakespeare's Globe); One Snowy Night (UK Tour); All's Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare's Globe); Hamlet & The Seagull (The Factory); Henry VIII (Shakespeare's Globe); Boiling Frogs (The Factory); 50/50 (The Factory & Hampstead Theatre); Romeo and Juliet(Shakespeare's Globe); Equus (Theatre Royal Bath & UK Tour); Hamlet (The Factory); I Am Shakespeare (Chichester Festival Theatre & UK Tour); In Extremis (Shakespeare's Globe); Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe); Measure for Measure (US Tour); Troilus & Cressida & The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare's Globe); Here's What I Did With My Body (The Pleasance); The Woman in Black (The Fortune Theatre); Twelfth Night & The Golden Ass (Shakespeare's Globe); Three Sisters Two (The Orange Tree); A Month in the Country (RSC); Remember This (National Theatre); Hamlet(RSC); Camino Real (RSC); Mary Stuart, Richard III, King Lear, Wild Oats & The Good Person of Sezchaun (National Theatre); Loot & Sailor Beware (Lyric Hammersmith); The Dumb Waiter (Salisbury Playhouse); Sunday's Children (Derby Playhouse); Macbeth (Watermill Theatre); Comedy of Errors(Bristol Old Vic); Hello and Goodbye (Custard Factory); Henry V, Edward III & Wotchit Sailor (Theatre Clywd); A Midsummer Night's Dream & Great Expectations (Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich); Hamlet, She Stoops to Conquer & Britannicus (Salisbury Playhouse); The Tempest (Chester Gateway); Antigone(Communicado). Television: 5 Episodes of "Flowers" (Kudos for Channel 4); "The Gingerbread Man" (Channel 4); "David Copperfield" (BBC); "The Bill" (Thames Television/ITV); "Peak Practice" (Central Television); "Holby City" (BBC); "Eastenders" (BBC). Film: Black Pond (Black Pond Productions); Henry V (Renaissance Films).
Eric Jurenas (Cover Singing Voice of Farinelli) - Declared by The New York Times as an artist with "beautiful, well-supported tone and compelling expression," and defined as having an "exceptionally clear tone with vocal flexibility" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), American countertenor Eric Jurenas is quickly making a name for himself in both the opera and concert scenes. After a brief stint as a baritone in his first year of university studies, he made the daunting switch to the opposite side of the vocal spectrum.
Eric has worked with several groups as a featured artist, including The Wiener Staatsoper, The Santa Fe Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Lafayette, Wolf Trap Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, American Bach Soloists, among others.
Highlights of his 2016-2017 season include engagements with Salzburger Festspiele (Adès's The Exterminating Angel), Berlin Komische Oper (Ayres's Peter Pan, Reimann's Medea), Wiener Staatsoper (Reimann's Medea), Royal Opera at Covent Garden (Mozart's Mitridate, re di Ponto), and Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe (Dorman's Wahnfried).
An avid competitor around the country and the world, Eric has received awards from several vocal competitions, including a prestigious award from The Sullivan Foundation, 1st place in the Handel Aria Competition, The International Competition 's-Hertogenbosch, 1st place in the Hal Leonard Online Vocal Competition, Dayton Opera Guild Competition, Kentucky Bach Choir Competition, and the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee Competition. He is a proud recipient of a Novick Career Advancement Grant.
He received his master's degree from The Juilliard School and his bachelor's degree from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati.
Edward Peel (De la Cuadra) - Theatre includes: Eternal Love, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Blue Stockings, Troilus and Cressida(Shakespeare's Globe); Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare's Globe & UK Tour); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK Tour); Horse Marines (Drum Theatre); On A Shout, Nellie Toast (Hull Truck Productions); Enemies(Almeida Theatre); Easter, Manek (Oxford Stage Company); Gong Donkeys (Bush Theatre); Sergeant Musgrave's Dance (Oxford Stage Theatre); An Inspector Calls (National Theatre); Falling, A Collier's Friday Night (Hampstead Theatre); All Credit to the Lads (Sheffield Crucible Theatre); Sugar Sugar(Bush Theatre); Richard III (Northern Broadsides); Richard III (RSC); The Dragon, Twelfth Night, DH Lawrence Trilogy, The Changing Room (Royal Court Theatre). Film includes: O Lucky Man!, Britannia Hospital, Force Ten from Navarone, Lassiter, Shogun. Television includes: "Doctors," "Nicholas Nickleby," "Clocking Off," "Juliet Bravo" (BBC); "Ripper Street" (Tiger Aspect For BBC); "Hollyoaks" (Channel 4); "The Royal Today," "Emmerdale" (Yorkshire Television); "The Bill" (Fremantlemedia); "London's Burning" (LWT); "Hillsborough," "Cracker" (Granada Television). Voice over includes: "Little Princess" (Channel 5).
Mark Rylance (Philippe V) - Mark Rylance was born in England in 1960 and emigrated with his family to America in 1962. He lived in Connecticut until 1969 and then moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he lived until returning to London in 1978. Mark trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1978-1980) under Hugh Cruttwell, and The Glasgow Citizens Theatre gave him his first job in 1980, a year in repertoire, a trip to the carnival in Venice with Goldoni, and an Equity card. Mark last appeared in New York at Brooklyn's St. Ann's Warehouse in 2016 in Nice Fish, which he co-authored with the Minnesota poet Louis Jenkins, and was directed by Claire van Kampen. The play was produced by The A.R.T. and St. Ann's, having originally been produced by Joe Dowling at The Guthrie Theatre and subsequently produced by Sonia Friedman for The Harold Pinter Theatre in London's West End. Mark last appeared at The Belasco Theatre in 2013 as the Countess Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Richard in Richard III. Both productions originated at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. They were subsequently produced by Sonia Friedman and directed by Tim Carroll, Artistic Director of The Shaw Festival, Canada. He has also appeared on Broadway as Johnny "Rooster" Byron in Jerusalem directed by Ian Rickson (The Music Box); Valere in La Bete (The Music Box) and Robert in Boeing Boeing (The Longacre), both directed by Matthew Warchus. He first played in NYC for A Theatre for a New Audience, Henry V and Touchstone, 1992-94. Recent film work includes Chris Nolan's Dunkirk, Steven Spielberg's Big Friendly Giant and Bridge of Spies. He is heard as Flop in "Bing Bunny" for the BBC and Thomas Cromwell in "Wolf Hall," directed by Peter Kosminsky, which was aired in America in 2015 on PBS. He will appear in Steven Spielberg's new film Ready Player One, due for release in 2018. Mark was the Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (1996-2006) and during his career has acted in over 50 productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He is an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple Hall in London; trustee of The Shakespearean Authorship Trust; an ambassador of SURVIVAL the movement for tribal peoples; and a patron of PEACE DIRECT, working for non-violent resolution of conflict. In 2017, he was knighted by HRH Prince William for services to Drama.
Margot White (Cover Isabella Farnese) - Favorite credits include: Love, Love, Love (Roundabout); Dirty Dancing (Tour); Constellations (MTC), Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention; Rosmersholm (The Pearl, opposite Austin Pendleton; The Traveling Lady (E.S.T, Dir Horton Foote); Pericles (Red Bull); Love Goes to Press! (Mint Theatre); Unspeakable (Apollo); Talley's Folly (The McCarter w/ Richard Schiff), "Unforgettable," "L&O: CI," "Blue Bloods." Upcoming films: The Leftovers & Ask for Jane.