Meet the music of Mozart in Amadeus Live

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PREVIEW
Amadeus Live
Attila Glatz Concert Productions
Nov. 17 and 18 at 7 p.m.
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
11455 – 87 Ave.
Tickets: $27. plus service charges. Visit http://www.ticketmaster.ca

Who can forget the 1984 period film Amadeus, a  lavish, entertaining and powerful movie of the fictional vendetta between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. It captured eight Oscars and was the darling of the decade.

Amadeus Live, a screening of the original Milos Forman film comes to the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on Nov. 17 and 18 with one exception.

The music is stripped from the motion picture and replaced by a 51-piece live orchestra of the region’s top tier musicians hand-picked for the project. The orchestra includes St. Albert cellist Rhonda Metzsies and upright bassist John Taylor. Dr. Leanne Regher does much of the heavy lifting on piano.

To create the film’s extensive score of one perfect melody after another, the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers and members of Richard Eaton Singers also form a 60-voice choir to support Mozart’s masterpiece Requiem Mass.

“In most films, music is used to enhance the drama. In this film, music is the film. Some of Mozart’s best music is performed – Symphony No. 25, Requiem, Serenade for Winds and excerpts from The Marriage of Figaro. It’s exceptionally well-put together and makes this a three-dimensional movie experience,” says Andrea Warren, vice-president of marketing for Toronto’s Attila Glatz Concert Productions.

In a brief recap, Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), a third-rate Italian court composer becomes poisonously jealous of the younger Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce), a brilliant, but boorish and childlike Viennese composer.

The more religious Salieri comes to resent Mozart for his hedonistic lifestyle  yet finds the younger composer’s music completely transcendent and cannot tear himself away. Underpinning this narrative of ambition, obsession and jealousy, Amadeus weaves a beautiful, but tragic fable.

The film is screened on the Jube’s 40-foot screen with subtitles.

“The music is so present. We want to make sure the dialogue isn’t missed,” Warren added.

The biggest challenge lies with conductor Richard Kaufman keeping the film, music and vocals synchronized. Standing in front of his podium is a small screen. Flags move across the screen that correspond to his score.

“He has to be incredibly present so the cuts are absolutely perfect. The timing is everything. If you miss a beat everything falls apart,” says Warren.

Violinist Jim Cockell, a classical violinist who assembled the orchestra says, “Anytime you do Mozart, you have to be at the top of your game to interpret it properly.”

He advocates seeing how various disciplines come together to forge this one-of-a-kind experience.

“It’s a fantastic film. Even 30 years later it’s aged wonderfully. And with live music, you see what went into making the soundtrack. Normally you hear the score and it doesn’t occur to to you, but when you see it laid out – just to see how many musicians it took, it will be a lovely experience,” said Cockell.

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About Author

Anna Borowiecki

Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.