Cape Town City Ballet opens 2018 with a bang with a rousing adaptation of Aleksandr Puškin’s short story, Mozart and Salieri. Exquisite period costumes, a superb score and cutting edge projections: this is ballet like Cape Town has never seen before.
Marc Goldberg, choreographer of the acclaimed work, The Vortex, has combined a classical story with a 21st century design to bring a sweeping and cinematic experience to modern ballet. A ground-breaking adaptation of Aleksandr Puškin’s short story of the same name, this world premiere promises digital sets framing distinct 17th century silhouettes.
The story – familiar to some from the multi-award-winning 1984 film Amadeus, based on Peter Shaffer’s play of the same name – follows the apocryphal legend that court composer Antonio Salieri poisoned Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart out of jealousy at his extraordinary musical skill.
Intertwined with the love story of Mozart and his wife Constanze, the ballet gives us scenes of Mozart within his own creative process, exploring the genius behind such a prolific body of work. But the dark undercurrents of envy from Salieri are inescapable, slicing the scenes of love and commitment with shadows of political intrigue and vindictive sabotage, and all the while Mozart’s rapturous music binds everything together in a whirling ebb and flow of creative energy.
The music is of course drawn from Mozart’s instantly recognisable repertoire, and with lighting design by Denis Hutchinson and animation by Pieter Steyn, this new production boasts sumptuous visuals not just in its dancing but in the stunning elaborate costumes crafted by three different designers. Martin Milner, Daniel Szybkowski and a surprise guest artist from Europe dance the role of Mozart. Laura Bosenberg, Mariette Opperman and Kirstel Jensen alternate as Constanze and Daniel Szybkowski, Anthony Maloney and the choreographer himself take on the complexities of Antonio Salieri.
If you have ever felt that perhaps ballet wasn’t your thing, Mozart and Salieri will ask you to rethink what you know about ballet in South Africa.
Date: 7 to 17 February 2018
Times: Wednesday and Saturday 19:30 | matinees on Saturday at 14:00 and Sunday at 15:00
Venue: Artscape Opera House
Cost: R150 to R270