May 31 2009
There are not many wonderful biopic movies about baroque opera singers and composers that one can find easily online or offline. It takes a lot of talent and guts to go through with the film project about opera nowadays. There just isn’t much money to make. Why watch a maestro who performs beautifully an opera aria on a big screen? After all, isn’t it much easier to shoot another movie for the masses and earn loads of dough?
So, in case you missed this magnificent film “Farinelli: Il Castrato” made in 1994 by Belgian director Gérard Corbiau, I would recommend it to you wholeheartedly. As the title hints about the king of castrati singers Farinelli who ruled the baroque opera stages of Europe in the 18th century.
The most difficult task for the film authors was the attempt in recreating the sound of castrato singer. It was impossible to find anything similar today. That is why Farinelli’s singing voice was provided by two singers: a soprano, Ewa Małas-Godlewska and a countertenor, Derek Lee Ragin. Each singer was recorded separately and then their voices were digitally morphed.
The film team made its best to show the ups and downs of Farinelli’s life. That is why they took some real events and turned them into a drama. For example, in this film famous composer George Frideric Handel is presented as some kind of nemesis, of the opera singer. And he has a lot of animosity and hostility when Farinelli perfoms in his pieces. But as we know, in reality Handel and Farinelli were quite friendly.