: Did the famous castrato Giovanni Farinelli
: really wield a lot of power and influence
: over King Fernando V of Spain? I read that
: the latter struggled a great deal with his
: royal duties, after arriving in his new
: country. As it was, his queen (Isabella
: Farnese) came up with the idea that perhaps
: music would have a soothing effect on his
: mind -- relieve him from the stress and
: burden of governance. So she contrived to
: bring the most celebrated singer of the day
: into the Spanish royal court.
: Evidently the two hit it off immediately, to
: the point of being virtually inseparable.
: The question is: just what exactly was the
: degree of Farinelli's hold over the king,
: anyway? Did he really become the DE FACTO
: ruler of the country?