Amadeus to premiere at the Estates Theatre

The play that inspired the film will be live in English for the first time

Prague Shakespeare Company in association with Národní divadlo present the Czech premiere of the original English language version of the play Amadeus by Peter Shaffer. It will be performed in the historic Estates Theatre, where Mozart premiered Don Giovanni in 1787 and where Miloš Forman filmed part of the Academy Award–winning film of this Tony Award–winning play.

The play will be performed June 30 for one night only this summer, but is slated to return in the fall, on Oct. 19.

The plot of the play is the same as that of the film. But the presentation on stage is rather different.

In the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Josef II in Vienna, the established court composer is Antonio Salieri. But the popular young composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the all-time musical geniuses turns up and turns the court music scene upside down.

In the play, a bitter rivalry develops between them. Salieri has given himself to God so that he might become a great composer. Mozart, a vulgar and graceless oaf, is the one to achieve immortal greatness, though. And Salieri can see that Mozart's work is on a plane that his own work will never achieve.

But what will the lesser of the composers do to stop Mozart and secure his own place in musical history?

The play offers an interesting answer, but remember that it is a work of historical fiction. Recent research has shown the rivalry in real life may not have been so dramatic.

The production features live musical accompaniment from the City of Prague Orchestra conducted by James Shearman and featuring soloists Christina Johnston, Ivo Hrachovec and Karolina Bubleová-Berková.

The production stars a father and son team: Bill Roberts as Salieri and Guy Roberts as Mozart. Bill Roberts appeared in the original production of Amadeus in the 1980s on Broadway in a supporting role. Guy Roberts is directing the current production.

They are joined by Jessica Boone as Constanza Weber, British Ambassador to the Czech Republic Jan Thompson as Emperor Josef II and Gregory Gudgeon, Scott Bellefueille, Peter Hosking, Jay DeYonker and Abigail Rice leading a company of 14 singers and over 25 actors.

This is Prague Shakespeare Company’s fifth time to perform at the Estates Theatre.

Previous performances include Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, Richard III and As You Like It, all by William Shakespeare.

While this is the premiere for a live production of Amadeus in Prague in English, the play was simulcast from a London stage in February to some Czech theaters.

The award-winning film was also recently digitally restored in its 180 minute director's cut and shown in some theaters as well.

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