Mozart’s Don Giovanni is my absolute favourite opera, anticipation sending shivers down my spine and ecstasy to my brain as I hear the music commence.
So, no surprise to find me, last weekend, at The National Theatre to see Amadeus by Peter Schaffer in its first staging there since 1979, though you may be more familiar with the award winning film, Amadeus, which was based on the play following its’ hugely successful run.
Lucian Msamati and Adam Gillen were excellent leads as Salieri and Mozart. The production was impressive; the staging, effective and the music: sublime.
It is a very word-y play which I love. All of my thinking is in words. Do you find that an odd thing for me to say? Doesn’t everyone think in words?
I think: maybe, not.
Perhaps artists think things visually. Composers – like Mozart – create in musical notes. Singers imagine audibly. Poets hear rhyme. Writers channel words. Athletes distil to physical action.
We each have our skills in how we see and communicate; clearly, we are not all the same. So, whilst I love the words in this play, you may think them too many. But, I hope not.
Ostensibly, many of these words belong to Salieri – the man who recognises genius but is unable to produce it – whose bitterness and envy propel him to nefarious ‘murder’.
However, on this night, I left thinking of the immensely gifted Mozart who, as he declines and loses faculty, describes the musical notes that once ran, in gay abandon, toward him as ‘running away, seeping from me as my life’. (I may not have got that right as a direct quote but … close enough.)
Heartbreaking to bear such a loss. And, the play allows us to feel the despair of it.
One of best theatrical events of my year. Thoroughly recommended.
Access and parking at The National is, as I’ve said before, nice and easy so no reason not to go, really. Treat yourself.