Farinelli (1994) Movie Script

Don't sing again, Carlo!
Don't sing again!
They'll do this to you!
Your death is in your throat!
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.
What are you waiting for?
Carlo Broschi, 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!
1740 - The Palace
Of Philip V Of Spain
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!
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!
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,
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
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?
- 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.
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!
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.
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...
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?
And safe.
Never safe.
Carlo supplies the climax.
Riccardo plants the seed.
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.
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?
My voice.
It's gone!
That's impossible!
It's gone!
Don't just stand there!
Put the wood on the fire.
Quickly! In the fireplace.
These people
don't understand anything!
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.
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,
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?
Maestro Handel.
Where is he?
The performance was canceled.
He left like everyone else.
He was supposed to come.
Who are you?
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.
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!
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,
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 doesn't exist.
You'll never finish it.
I don't lack inspiration.
I lack the time!
You take all my time.
All of 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!
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,
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,
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.
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.
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!
Expand the chord...
and dare a chromatic move
to D-fat.
Not bad. Not bad at all!
Who does he think he is?
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?
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.
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 refection.
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!.
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...
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!
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!
Here it is!
Come on, Carlo!
Carlo, come out!
Do something.
I know you're there,
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.
I created you!
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.
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,
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.
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?