Personalities | Farinelli | Late Baroque | Opera

1705–82, Italian

Carlo Broschi, known as ‘Farinelli’, studied with Porpora, and made his stage debut as a castrato in Naples when he was only 15 years old. By 1723, he was taking lead roles in his teacher’s operas. Farinelli was remarkably successful across Europe, and in 1734 he reunited with Porpora to work in London for the ‘Opera of the Nobility’. While at the peak of his fame, Farinelli suddenly quit in 1737 and spent over two decades in the service of Philip V of Spain, where his duties were not all directly associated with music and opera. He retired to Bologna in 1759 and became a respected figure visited by Mozart, Casanova and Emperor Joseph II. Today, Farinelli is known as the most famous castrato, largely due to Gérard Corbiau’s controversial and mostly fictional film Farinelli, il castrato (1994).

Introduction | Late Baroque | Opera
Personalities | Marie Fel | Late Baroque | Opera
The Voice | The Castrati | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
The Voice | The Training of the Castrati | Late Baroque | Opera
Houses & Companies | Baroque Opera in Naples | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera


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