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Open Features: Carlo Farinelli

Peter Wintersgill outlines the career of Carlo Farinelli who sang at the royal court in Madrid in the eighteenth century.

Born
24th January, 1705, in Andria, Italy.

Adolescence
Studied with Porpora.

Adult life
Debut 1792. Also studied with Bernacchi.

A castrato, he travelled widely, including to Vienna and London, where he joined Porpora' s opera company, which was in competition with Handel's.

He sang at the Royal Court in Madrid from 1737, directing the chapel music and producing Italian operas. He sang the same four songs each night to cheer his melancholy monarch.

He retired to Bologna with enormous wealth, collecting pictures and receiving visiting musicians.

He died 15th July, 1782, in Bologna aged 77.

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