Farinelli (movie)

Farinelli is an italo – belgo – french film directed by Gérard Corbiau , released in 1994 .


Biography of the castrato Farinelli . Farinelli’s big brother, Ricardo Broschi, decides to castrate his brother to preserve this sensational crystalline voice, without which the music of Ricardo, who is a composer, would be worthless. The young man travels the operas with his brother. A young woman, Alexandra, comes one day to ask the brothers Broschi to give a performance in a small English theater in bankruptcy. They accept. This is when the competition between the Broschi who want to save the theater and Handel , the former master of the two brothers and famous composer, begins . The theater is gaining popularity, but Haendel is trying hard to recover Farinelli’s exceptional voice.Haendel refers to the “accident” that robbed Farinelli of his manhood. Carlo Broschi then discovers the truth and the privileged relationship he had with Ricardo fades away. Farinelli and Alexandra are in love. Ricardo, who seeks to be forgiven, to make a “normal” life for his little brother, makes a child to Alexandra, then leaves to join the army. It disappears from the life of Farinelli, which we see in one of the last scenes of the film, kissing the belly rounded by the pregnancy of Alexandra.

Technical sheet

  • Title: Farinelli
  • Director: Gérard Corbiau
  • Scenario: Marcel Beaulieu , Gérard Corbiau and Andrée Corbiau
  • Production: Vera Belmont , Linda Gutenberg , Dominique Janne , Aldo Lado and Stéphane Thenoz
  • Photography: Walther van den Ende
  • Sound: Jean-Paul Mugel
  • Editing: Joëlle Hache
  • Sets: Gianni Quaranta
  • Costumes: Olga Berluti and Anne de Laugardière
  • Mixing: Dominique Hennequin
  • Country of origin: Italy – Belgium – France
  • Format: Colors – Dolby
  • Genre: Drama , biography
  • Duration: 111 minutes
  • Release date: 1994


  • Stefano Dionisi : Carlo Broschi, aka Farinelli
  • Enrico Lo Verso : Riccardo Broschi
  • Elsa Zylberstein : Alexandra
  • Jeroen Krabbé : Georg Friedrich Haendel
  • Caroline Cellier : Margareth Hunter
  • Renaud of Peloux de Saint Romain : Benedict
  • Omero Antonutti : Nicola Porpora
  • Marianne Basler : Countess Mauer
  • Pier Paolo Capponi : Broschi
  • Graham Valentine : The Prince of Wales
  • Jacques Boudet : Philippe V of Spain
  • Delphine Zentout : a young admirer


  • appointed to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
  • Golden Globe of the best foreign film
  • Caesar for the best sound and the best decor

Around the film

  • To try to get as close as possible to the voice of a castrato , IRCAM has made the association of a counter-tenor voice ( Derek Lee Ragin ) and a soprano colorature ( Ewa Małas-Godlewska  (en) ) .
  • The recording of the film ‘s music was made by the ensemble ” Les Talens Lyriques “, under the baton of the chef Christophe Rousset , at the Arsenal of Metz in July 1993.

Composers put to use in the film: Haendel , Hasse , Porpora , Riccardo Broschi (brother of Carlo , the singer), Pergolese .

  • Many elements of the film are fictional. For example, the relationship between the Broschi brothers, the interventions of Handel, the role of Riccardo Broschi as to the origin of the castration of his brother …

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