Farinelli (1994) Script

Don't sing again, Carlo!

Don't sing again!

They'll do this to you! Your death is in your throat!


Enough! Riccardo Broschi... this introduction is unworthy of what I've taught you.

Maestro Porpora, please!

You cannot judge his score... until you've heard at least the first part sung.

These two... were made for each other.

Then let us hear this music.

This joint creation?by... your two sons, Signor Broschi.

That's what you want, isn't it?

Go on.

Sing.

What are you waiting for?

Carlo Broschi, sing!

Sing!

You have ten seconds to save your brother.

Your voice, my boy.

Your voice!

Let me hear your voice!

Why did the castrato die? Why? Why?

Don't ever refuse your voice to your brother.

My sons must never leave each other.

I want you to swear it.

I don't want them to do it to me. I don't want to die!

I don't want to die!


Carlo! It's me, Riccardo!

I'm here! I've spent three years looking for you.

Carlo, it's me!

It's me, Carlo!

Who's that?

Who is he?

It's his brother, Your Majesty.

Riccardo Broschi.

It's me, Riccardo! Let me go!

Carlo, stop them!

It's me, Riccardo!

I'm Riccardo! Make them stop!

Naples 18 Years Earlier?


Let's go, Carlo.

This fellow seems... to be missing a thing or two!

Carlo, please! Stay calm.

Let's hear it for the trumpet player!

Surely here... in the land of music... there must be a singer who can take on my trumpeter!


He's my brother.


Hey, you! What's your name?

He mashed your famous trumpet player into farina!

Farinelli!


The show continues, ladies and gentlemen!

The show continues. Fill up the basket!

Signor Farinelli! Signor Farinelli!

What do you want? This isn't the time! Go away!

A message from Handel!

Hurry up!

A message from Handel!

I want young Farinelli to accompany me to England.

I wish to hire him for my theater in London.

Well? What does young Farinelli think of that?

Young Farinelli?... wonders why the Maestro thought of him?

You amused me.

Your duel with the trumpet was very entertaining.

Well, I'm waiting, Farinelli.

What sum did the Maestro... have in mind to secure the services of the Broschi brothers?

I'll only take the youngster.

If he works hard...

I may give him a contract.

I'm afraid you don't understand, Maestro.

Contract or no contract, the Broschi brothers stay together.

I have to buy them by the pair?

I am a composer, Maestro.

Dear God!

Farinelli sings what I compose... especially for him.

He sings just about anything. I don't quite understand.

Anything at all. That's what I said.

He sings just about anything.

Don't you see that in his hands... you'll never be more than a sideshow attraction?

Do you have so little regard for music... that you'd waste your voice singing rubbish?

Without music, you don't exist.

You're just a creature without balls.

Neither man, nor woman.

Your voice is the only justification... for your existence.

In here... there's merely an organ that nature lets you enjoy... so you'll forget how ridiculous that one is.

May God forgive me!

Some Years Later?

Riccardo.

Why do you keep saying Riccardo??

I'm almost finished. Wait.

You've been rewriting Act Two of Orpheus?for ten years!

Will he ever get to the underworld?

Wait.

Is it really finished? Well, finished...

Finished... Uh, finished...

It needs more work, but you'll see... the flourishes are diabolical!

You'll have to go without inhaling for at least one minute.

I can manage one minute.

Give it to me.

All right.

Try it.

Sing!


Are you crazy?

What are you doing?

It still needs much more work. Devil!

You traitor!

Don't be crazy, brother! Orpheus?is a beautiful creation!

You're crazy, brother!

Orpheus?!


Listen to them, Carlo!

You hear? It's a triumph!

We're the greatest, Carlo.

If Father could see this!

If he could see all this!

Last night I dreamt about him.

He was in this theater.

He was here, Carlo!

He was right here!

He cried tears of happiness!

Tears of happiness.

He was so proud of us.

You were marvelous!

Please, leave me alone.

I'm not feeling receptive.

One should seize the moment!

Do you realize how arousing you are?

It is hoped that you'll accept this.

And read this letter.

Tearing Countess Mauer away from her book... is something only you could accomplish.

That's a very valuable gift, Signor Farinelli.

I'll leave.


Silk... satin... velvet.

Ah castrato!


It's the pact, madame.


I've always believed, Signor Farinelli... that books could supply our minds... with all the necessary sustenance.

As to the feelings the arts inspired in me... they always appealed to my highest faculties... to my intelligence.

Those feelings, Signor Farinelli, I can control.

But what I felt yesterday evening when I heard you sing... is beyond my understanding.

What you aroused in me... is very similar to a feeling of love.

I believe... that... you were responsible... for my first musical orgasm.

At this point, Signor Farinelli... do you really need your brother?

Do you need him in order to get an erection?

Can you come, in spite of what they took from you?

They left me enough to satisfy all the world's women.

What is it like?

Stupendous.

And safe.

Never safe.

Carlo supplies the climax.

Riccardo plants the seed.

Together... the Broschi brothers are formidable... and a perfect team.

Sing for me, castrato... just once more.

Better ask your husband or your lover for that, madame.


The Venice contract.

The Bologna contract.

Carlo, we're invited to Vienna!

For you.

Handel!

What does he want? What does he want now?

He's coming to Dresden to hear me.

Oh, really?

He won't hear you. We're not going!

This one's from Porpora.

Carlo, what's wrong? Carlo?

My voice. It's gone!

That's impossible!

It's gone!

Carlo!

Stop!

Don't just stand there!

Put the wood on the fire.

Quickly! In the fireplace.

These people don't understand anything!

Faster!

Hurry up!

Carlo, eat.

You have to eat.

You have a fever.

Tell me about it again.

Don't start again.

It does you no good.

That nightmare keeps coming back.

It haunts me, Riccardo.

It's like an endless race.

I never fall off.

If I could just dream that I fall off.

Help me.

I've already told you a hundred times.

Tell me again.

When our father died...

you became very ill.

One day the fever was so high... you were delirious.

You went to get Helios.

That horse was a demon.

Something occurred between you two.

He always led you toward danger.

Off you went on that terrifying ride.

I got there too late.

You had already fallen off.

Carlo.

Carlo.

We did all we could to save your life.

To save my life.

To save your life!

A little opium.

Yes, some opium, and I'll sleep.

Opium makes you delirious.

We have to go to Dresden.

We will.

Handel wants to see us? Handel wants to hear us sing?

We'll go to Dresden. We'll show him... what the Broschi brothers can do!

If I could sing Orpheus?...

That's impossible, Carlo.

It won't be ready yet.

You know that very well.

You know it.

You'll never finish it.

I'll never sing it.


Will you speak to me today without a middleman?

What grandeur! What poise.

Seeing you like this, I understand your irresistible rise.

It's been a long time since I heard you sing.

As the King of England's envoy, I had to...

Am I distracting you?

His Majesty will do anything to have you at Covent Garden.

He has a passion for singers... and snuff boxes.

To be brief... the King wants to add you to his collection.

At any price.

And you, Maestro, do you need me?

They say your voice is exceptional.

If you manage to arouse the slightest emotion in me... with this awful jumble of notes... then you're the world's greatest singer.

You still have to prove to me... that you're more than a singing machine.

Give me what none of your kind has ever managed to give me.

And to answer your question...

I need nobody, Farinelli, nobody.

You're sweating.

It's ruining your makeup.

I'll come for your answer after the performance... in your dressing room.

We'll talk things over.


Signor Broschi!

How is he?

He's asleep.

I must see him!

I'll wait all night if necessary. What do you want?

I really have to speak to him. It's urgent.

I'm here.

No, I'm sorry. My message is not for you.

It's for Signor Farinelli in person.

In person? In person.

I'll come... for your answer... in your dressing room. "

Where is he?

Who?

Maestro Handel.

Where is he?

The performance was canceled.

He left like everyone else.

He was supposed to come.

Who are you?

Alexandra.

I'm Alexandra Lerris.

But you don't know me.

I've brought you a message... from Maestro Porpora.

He's desperate. He needs you. Do you hear me?

Do you hear me?

Look at me.

Since he took over the Nobles Theater, he's fought hard.

But he's being ruined by the King's and Handel's theater.

His competition has an unfair advantage.

He needs you, Farinelli. He does.

You must help Porpora. Come to London.

Come help him. I'm afraid he didn't hear you.

It's the opium.


London, 1734?


Try this wine, Signor Farinelli.

I have it sent from France from the vineyards... that I inherited from my father.

Would you kindly look in my direction?

I know I look frightening, but I'm really quite nice.

Forgive me. How old are you, child?

How strange.

Child?is what my mother calls me.

I'm 12.

But I'm really much older.

That's the big advantage of being ill.

My name is Benedict.

But I'm not blessed?at all.

Would your singers defect to Covent Garden?

Sell themselves to Handel?

All's fair in the war between our theaters.

And the singers know it.

Some of them extort a fortune from us.

I suspect Handel encourages such blackmail.

I doubt that he'd meet their demands.

Although the King supports his theater... he's almost as broke as we are.

Is my nose out of place?

Why are you staring at me?

I admire your nerve, madame... in daring to defy Handel.

Women are very strong, Signor Farinelli.

Men's weaknesses make it necessary.


Bravo! Fantastic!

What is that?

Put those flowers away. You look ridiculous.

Alexandra, there's his brother.

Beware of Riccardo.

They say that the Broschi brothers... share everything, even their conquests.


I know I'm late. But you've provoked such an uproar.

Here we are, alone, while all of London clamors for you.

Carlo, dear brother, you're crazy. But I love you.

When I said you wouldn't attend the reception, it was as if...

I'd announced the end of the world!

I'm flattered, Carlo. Flattered and moved.

Yes, yes. I'm moved.

And dying of hunger and thirst.

Let's drink!


Tonight I'd like to have every woman in the world.

It's been too long since we shared a real brotherly meal.

Porpora is overjoyed.

Nobody attended Handel's theater this evening.

He had to cancel the performance.

All of London was with us at the Nobles.

To listen to us, Carlo, your voice... and my music!

I love you, Carlo.

And my new opera... will make history.

It's shit!

What?

You heard perfectly well.

Then why all this acclaim?

Are all these people wrong?

Why did they applaud?

What's wrong with you?

You're never satisfied.

All Europe is at our feet. What more do you want?

What's wrong, Carlo?

Talk to me, Carlo.

Don't worry about a thing. You were magnificent.

It's completely unnoticeable, believe me.

Just a tiny tremolo.

So tiny that it only happens in the very highest appoggiaturas.

Nobody noticed it, I swear.

I spotted it a while back, but...

Are you feeling better?

You hear that, Riccardo?

After all, you're not deaf.

You substitute virtuosity with inspiration.

All those embellishments and flourishes... all those adornments... that you heap on to your scores!

I invent them for your voice.

Forget about my voice!

I can't. You know I can't.

I promised our father.

Better think about the music.

It should touch the heart.

Find the true, essential feeling.

I want your music to rouse that fragment of the infinite... that lies asleep in their bellies.

That's what I ask of you.

Such ingratitude! What about Orpheus??

Orpheus?!

Orpheus?doesn't exist.

You'll never finish it.

I don't lack inspiration.

I lack the time!

You take all my time.


Rise, Signor Farinelli.

Permit the Prince of Wales to pay you homage.

The Nobles Theater is eternally grateful to you... for saving its honor, as well as the honor... of this country's nobility.

My voice is at the service of music, Your Highness.

Your voice...

Signor Farinelli... attracts the most discerning audiences.

And despite the support of His Majesty... you're stealing from Handel his last remaining listeners.

Not that we're displeased!

What do you mean?

These operas Handel composes in three weeks... are an insult to his audience.

Who spread this slander? Rumors.

Rumors that you stoop to peddle, sir!

Have you heard these operas, sir? You're joking, young lady.

That would be treason. We never attend Covent Garden.

I have heard them. They surpass anything one hears anywhere else.

I can't imagine Handel's work surpasses Maestro Porpora's work.

Or that of Signor Broschi.

You're an ass, sir. You don't deserve to have ears!

Long after posterity has forgotten... that you ever lived... it will preserve Handel's name with infinite respect.

Your conceited attitude... is an insult to all musicians.

I'd like to erase from my memory this cursed day... when I sang for you!


You're cheating, Carlo.

He always cheated.

He can't stand to lose.

Neither can I.

But I don't cheat.

I taught you how to sing, Carlo Broschi.

Don't forget that I was your teacher.

Don't add ingratitude... to your insolence.

Say something.

What is he thinking?

He's decided to humiliate us with his scorn.

We're wasting our time.

Tonight the Broschis have decided to remain silent.

I hardly knew my father.

It was I who asked to hang his portraits throughout the house.

My mother was afraid she'd suffer.

But actually, it helped us.

I no longer have a father. And you will never have children, right?

It's the greatest sorrow of my life.

Marry my mother!

Let us choose each other.

You'll be my father, I'll really be your son.

I know the Church forbids castrati to marry.

But my mother is not a Catholic.

I know that she's really very lonely.

I'm very touched by your suggestion, Benedict.

I thank God for the love you bear me.

God has nothing to do with it.

It's a private gift.


Let's not stay here.

What are you doing here? Let's go, please.

Were you following me? It's not the first time.

What I just did put us in grave danger. Here, read it later.

How did you get this copy?

It's no copy. It's Handel's original score.

I stole it for you.

My legs are still trembling.

You're insane!

Yes.

You've been singing Broschi for too long, haven't you?

You're starving for music worthy of your voice.

Now it's in your hands.

You need your brother even for a kiss?


Where were you, Carlo? I'm talking to you!

You shouldn't be out in the cold. It hurts your voice.

Why is she here?

We've been waiting for you, Carlo, with great impatience.

You're disheveled, young lady.

Did my brother give you what you expected?

You didn't answer my question.


Calm down. A night with her will do us both good.

I don't want to. Have her taken home.

Let me have her.

Don't break our pact.

Let me. I need her.

I wouldn't advise it, Carlo.

You're good at two things, Carlo Broschi.

Betrayal and loneliness!

We no longer need each other, castrato!

Castrato!

I beg you to stay.

I'm sorry.

Without him, it's no good.


To your health!

My dear Margaret!

Will you marry me?

I'm afraid you didn't hear my request.

I heard it perfectly, my friend... and I thank you for it.

Forgive my laughter. It was a stupid defensive reflex.

It's a mistake, Carlo.

I will never marry again.

I owe Benedict's father that last fidelity.

You need no further excuse than the horror I inspire in you.

Oh, no!

But I am too aware to share your blindness.

Probably because I often play God on stage...

I dared to think I could be a man.

Forgive me, both of you.

It's impossible.

I cannot.

Come, Benedict.

You're tearing me apart, Carlo.

To protect my love, I must crush my feelings.


To hell with those rats!

I'm so tired.

I am so tired!

Too much pride.

Don't despise your music, Maestro.

Who let you in?

Don't resist.

Follow the thread of my voice, like a musical progression.

I only want to talk.

Where did you get that? It doesn't matter.

I came to offer you this music.

How dare you?

I'll sing it for you.

Sing it for me?

It's time we made peace.

We both had the mystery revealed to us.

Music belongs to me just as it belongs to you.

What music?

Good enough to squeeze cheap tears from females who swoon over your voice?

Is that how you presume to move me?

With your music, I will.

Because of you, and to save this theater...

I exhaust myself composing works unworthy of my talent.

You're causing my music to deviate from its course.

I'll never forgive you for that, Farinelli.

A castrato's voice is an example of nature abused... rerouted from its goal, in order to deceive.

You've subverted your voice to virtuosity without soul... devoted only to artifice!

Let it stay there!

Give me back my score.

You know, Maestro... some people say that my singing... has power over people.

Don't turn my voice into an instrument of death.

You don't frighten me.

Everyone knows that Farinelli promotes his own legend.

Keep on splitting their ears... with stupid operas full of idiotic characters!


Is that him?

Yes, it is.

You see, Carlo?

I'm happy. My body doesn't refuse to grow.

Are you in pain, child?

It's not really pain.

Just a feeling of utter fragility.

Like a snail without its shell.

Alexandra has the world's softest hands.

But I won't share them with anyone else.

Delightful! Quick, cover it up.

We're helpless, Alexandra.

But one thing is certain.

You love me, don't you?


Where is my score?

Where does your brother hide the opera he stole from me?

Tell me... and I'll leave you in peace, like a rat in your attic.

Thieves!

You've stolen my brother from me, Maestro.

Your music... separated us more than any ocean could have.

Who composed this?

Play it. Go ahead!

Neither excessive... nor unnecessary flourishes.

It doesn't seem like you.

This is an entreaty.

The harmony should be changed.

Take this supplication into the dominant.

Move over!

After the major third... repeat the theme up a fourth.

Your brother is a monster.

Play! Go ahead!

This is weak.

Not enough violence! Wait.

Expand the chord... and dare a chromatic move to D-flat.

Not bad. Not bad at all!

Who does he think he is? God?

He's destroying you... and wants to destroy me, too.

Bring me the rest.

Some ink, pens, wine.

What are you waiting for?


When did you plan to finish it?

When did you start this?

When?

The day when...

The day my brother was castrated.

That day, I promised him... it would be... our joint masterpiece.

You'll never finish this opera. Never!

You no longer have any reason to finish it.

He doesn't need you anymore.

It is you who needs him.

You've been deprived of your instrument, Signor Broschi.

You're like Narcissus without his reflection.

Like Orpheus without his lute.

You're right, Maestro.

Without him, your music no longer exists.

Without him... you are nothing but silence.

At 17...

I composed my first melody.

I wrote it for Carlo.

You may be the only one who can understand.

His voice...

His voice was sublime.

And my music flowed from my brother's throat.

When did he fall off that horse?

He never fell off.

When Father died...

Carlo became seriously ill.

My father had entrusted him to me.

He was delirious.

I was afraid of losing him.

I soothed him with some opium... and by telling him the story of an opera... that I invented day after day to help him dream.

He loved to sing, Maestro.

He loved to sing.

His face...

His face was transfigured when he sang.

That angelic voice had to be preserved.

It had to be done quickly.

Opium eventually wears off.

His voice had to be kept from being ruined... by the repulsive alchemy... that time inflicts on the body.

My music unified us, Maestro... closer than lovers.


Do you realize the scandal we will create?

A Handel opera performed at the Nobles theater!

It's unheard of!. Incredible!

How could I have let all this happen?


Finally, Farinelli... what rendered us enemies for so many years... will be resolved tonight.

It's time to settle our account before God.

Do you remember the opera... that your brother promised you when you were boys?

Do you remember, Farinelli, with what emotion he spoke of it?

Did you ever ask yourself... whether it was to soothe the pain of your castration... or to still his howling conscience?

It's time you faced the truth... that has haunted you since childhood.

Why do you refuse to hear what you've known all along?

It's to this brother who had you castrated... that you dedicated all your talent.

And to perpetuate this brotherly pact...

you spat in the face of Handel.

You managed to turn me into what you've always been.

You castrated... my imagination.

Starting now, I'll never compose another opera again. Never again!

You are the first to know... and the only one to blame.

Ask God for the strength to continue... and to sing, without wavering, the music you stole from me...

Farinelli.


Come on!

Carlo! Come outside!

Let's see you, Carlo!

You've no right to reject me!

I've looked for you for three years! Come out!

I've looked for you everywhere!

Carlo!

Carlo!

Answer me!

You're a Broschi, Carlo, just like me!

You can't have forgotten. That's impossible!

Carlo, come on!

Our opera!

I've finished it! Carlo, I've finished it!

I composed it for you! Orpheus?!

Orpheus?!

Here it is! Come on, Carlo!

Carlo, come out!

Do something.

I know you're there, Alexandra!

Don't take him away from me!

Don't take him away from me!

Do you want to kill me?

Is that what you want?

Without me, you'd be nothing.

I created you.

Farinelli!

I created you!

Castrato!

Castrato!

Castrato!


Carlo, please! He'll go crazy!

Tell him you love him.

Go ahead. Go.

I can't.

Your brother needs you, and so do I.

I need you, too. Do you hear me?

I sacrificed everything for this love.

I know it's senseless... but I love you.

I don't want to lose you.

I don't want to lose you.


Three years, Carlo!

Three years!


I knew it was you.

It's very beautiful.

Really?

You really think so?

It's your most beautiful composition!

It's what I always waited for.

We could work on it together.

Perform Orpheus? here in Madrid.

Everyone will love it if you sing it.

Your brother no longer sings, Riccardo... except for the King.

And maybe for you?

It's strange.

There's something in your face when you suffer... that's poignantly reminiscent of your brother.

That must be why I can't really hate you.

Do you know how much I've suffered, writing our opera?

You're telling me about suffering, Riccardo? You?

Can't you see, I'm asking for your forgiveness?

Haven't I atoned for enough?

I don't think so. Never enough!


Is the earth simply a tomb?

Bring back the sun, Farinelli.


Riccardo!

Riccardo!


My beloved brother.

It is without much hope that I'll search in distant lands... amidst the clashes of war... for emotions as intense... as those I derived from music.


At this moment, Carlo... with my heart heavy from leaving you...

I'm giving you back what I had taken from you.

Your share of humanity.

I've burned our opera.

That music and the past... are irrelevant today.

But what I am leaving with you, Carlo... is that not also... our joint creation?