Director: Michael Longhurst
Writer: Peter Shaffer
Cast: Lucian Msamati, Adam Gillen, Karla Crome, Fleur de Bray, Geoffrey Beevers, Hugh Sachs
Seen on: 2.2.2017

Antonio Salieri (Lucian Msamati) looks back on his life, especially his relationship with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Adam Gillen). When Mozart arrived at court, Salieri was already a well-established musician. Mozart’s genius swept Vienna, and his music deeply impresses Salieri. But Mozart the man turns out to be a disappointment, pushing Salieri into a deep crisis: why was this simpering fool graced with such musical talent, and he himself wasn’t?

Amadeus is an interesting production of a good (albeit historically inaccurate) play that suffers, though, from its take on Mozart.

Continue reading

Kammerorchester Basel / Blechacz / Pinnock

The Kammerorchester Basel played a concert conducted by Trevor Pinnock and with Rafał Blechacz on the piano.
Seen on: 24.6.2016

Their program consisted of some Ludwig van Beethoven (overture to op. 43 The Creatures of Prometheus, op. 19 Piano Concerto Number 2, the adagio cantabile of op. 13 Piano Sonato Number 8), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (K 543 Symphony Number 39), Frédéric Chopin (op. 56/2 Mazurka) and finally Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (the third movement of op. 107 Symphony Number 5).

To be quite honest with you, I don’t know much about classical music and I only heard this concert because my mom couldn’t attend and my dad was looking for somebody to go with him. So this review isn’t so much a review than it is a few thoughts jotted down for completion’s sake.

I definitely enjoyed the concert. The music was beautiful, though I honestly enjoyed the Mendelssohn Bartholdy most of all – even though that was only a small encore and certainly not the focus of the concert. But I’m simply a sucker for romantic classical music. I am sure they played very well, but here’s the part where I simply cannot say anything of substance. A big part of my entertainment though, was watching Pinnock conduct. We had great seats, so I was able to see him and his expressions quite clearly and he just seemed to have so much fun and enjoy himself so much and I think that transferred to the orchestra, the music and the audience.

In short, it was a great evening, even for a classical music novice like myself.

Trevor Pinnock

Trevor Pinnock

Mozart à 2 / Don Juan

Mozart à 2 / Don Juan
Director: Thierry Malandain
Music by: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart / Christoph Willibald Gluck

Thierry Malandain choreographed two different ballets for one show: in the first half, we got to see five pas de deux, dancing to piano concertos by Mozart. In the second half, Malandain told the story of Don Juan to the music by Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Even though I love dancing and the ballet, I am not really an expert on any of it. But I found both parts of the evening really nice, classic ballet with a modern twist.

Mozart-a-deux Continue reading

Così fan tutte

Così fan tutte
Director: Michael Haneke
Writer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (music) / Lorenzo Da Ponte (libretto)
Cast: Anett Fritsch, Paola Gardina, Andreas Wolf, Juan Francisco Gatell, Kerstin Avemo, William Shimell
Part of: Wiener Festwochen

Ferrando (Juan Francisco Gatell) is engaged to Dorabella (Paola Gardina) and Guglielmo (Andreas Wolf) to Fiordiligi (Anett Fritsch) and both couples are very much in love. They are staying with Don Alfonso (William Shimell) and his wife Despina (Kerstin Avemo). Don Alfonso is convinced of the fickleness of women and Ferrando and Guglielmo agree to a bet with him: They will dress up as strangers and try to seduce the fiancées of the other guy. But will that end well?

This production of Così fan tutte is extremely slick – from the stage design to the costumes, from the acting to the music, everything is just really glossy and smooth. For me, it hit a couple of wrong notes (no pun intended), but it was beautiful.


Continue reading

The Giacomo Variations

The Giacomo Variations is a play/opera devised by Michael Sturminger [German], featuring the music from operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte. It stars John Malkovich, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Martene Grimson* and Andrei Bondarenko*.

Giacomo Casanova (John Malkovich) reminisces about his life. He gets a visit from Elisa von der Recke (Ingeborga Dapkunaite), who becomes his woman of the moment, while she tries to get a look at his memoirs. So we start hearing about Casanova’s life little by little, helped by the music from Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni and Le Nozze Di Figaro.

The Giacomo Variations builds from a good idea and has a good cast. Unfortunately, its director is not that good and the cast, albeit good actors, were wrong for the play. Or the play was wrong for them – whichever way you want to see it.

Continue reading