Rock Me, Amadeus

If you believe the film Amadeus, composer Antonio Salieri killed Mozart for being too awesome. In one scene, Salieri shares an arrangement with Mozart, who thinks it’s simply meh. Mozart then turns it into a march and uses it in his own opera, The Marriage of Figaro. Following Figaro’s massive success in 1787, ol’ Wolfgang composed what is widely regarded as his greatest achievement in opera, Don Giovanni. The two-act work tells the tale of womanizing Don Giovanni and his female conquests. That is until he meets the Commendatore, the father of Donna Anna, a woman he tried to seduce. Spoiler alert (forgive us, but the story is more than 200 years old): He kills the old man in a duel when the Commendatore tries to defend his daughter’s honor. And because this is an opera, the Commendatore’s ghost eventually haunts Don Giovanni and tries to make him change his philandering ways. In its day, the opera was described as perfect and without blemish, while the character of Don Giovanni has been the subject of philosophical discussion among writers and lecturers for more than two centuries. All of this from one opera. No wonder Salieri rubbed out Mozart! Don Giovanni, presented by Florida Grand Opera, opens this Saturday at the Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: April 16. Continues through May 8, 2011
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Chris Joseph

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