AMADEUS Set for Run at the Folger
Genius and jealousy collide in Folger Theatre's production of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus. Richard Clifford (Mary Stuart and The School for Scandal at Folger Theatre), directs the Tony Award-winning "Best Play" set against the backdrop of the opulent salons and opera houses of 18th-century Vienna, examining the rivalry between court composer Antonio Salieri and the boorish but brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The production features Helen Hayes Award-winner Ian Merrill Peakes (Folger Theatre's Macbeth and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) as the tortured composer Salieri, who finds himself living in the shadow of his musical rival Mozart (Samuel Adams).
Amadeus is on stage from November 5 through December 22, 2019. Tickets are available online at www.folger.edu/theatre or by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077.
Antonio Salieri enjoys a comfortable lifestyle as the court composer to Emperor Joseph II. That is, until he meets Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salieri finds himself mesmerized by Mozart's musical genius, yet appalled by his eccentric behavior. Consumed by bitterness, Salieri, acting as the impulsive prodigy's trusted advisor, does everything in his power to destroy Mozart's reputation and sabotage his success.
"Working on a play that is so rich in text and embellished with such a soundscape comes only rarely outside of opera," says director Richard Clifford. "Mozart's music creates another dimension in Peter Shaffer's masterpiece, where one's emotions are made to work, making the play a visceral piece of theater."
Alongside Ian Merrill Peakes and Samuel Adams, the production also features Justin Adams as Baron van Swieten, Prefect of the Imperial Library, Louis Butelli (last season's Love's Labor's Lost and Macbeth at Folger Theatre) as a Venticello, joined by Amanda Bailey as the other Venticello; Lilli Hokama as Mozart's wife, Constanze Weber; James Joseph O'Neil as Count Orsini-Rosenberg, director of the Imperial Opera; John Taylor Phillips as Emperor Joseph II, Emperor of Austria; and Deidre LaWan Starnes as Madame von Strack, the emperor's chamberlain.
Junior Gomez (Salieri's Valet), Yvonne Paretzky (Teresa Salieri), Ned Read (Kapellmeister Bonno), and Kathryn Zoerb (Katherina Cavalieri) round out the cast.
The design elements of the production, Clifford says, "harmonize with what I feel is the innermost chamber of Salieri's mind-dark, mysterious, and tortured." The creative team of this highly theatrical tale includes four-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Tony Cisek (scenic design), and Mariah Anzaldo Hale (costume design), both of whom last worked with Richard Clifford on Mary Stuart in 2015. Max Doolittle (last season's King John) is the lighting designer, and Baltimore native Sharath Patel is the sound designer.
Janet Alexander Griffin, Folger Theatre's Artistic Producer, says. "Shaffer's depiction of the eccentric genius Mozart fully captures the essence of Folger Theatre's season dedicated to embracing larger-than-life characters. We are delighted to welcome back Richard Clifford to stage this highly theatrical, thrilling, and humorous tale of one of the world's most famous composers. With such an innovative team of designers assembled, and an outstanding cast, led by Folger favorite Ian Merrill Peakes, we aim to captivate audiences with this Viennese story during the holiday season."
Amadeus is on stage at Folger Theatre from November 5 through December 22, 2019. Tickets are $42-$85. Discounted preview performances (starting at $25) and special rates for patrons under 30, students, seniors, members and family of the military, educators, and groups may be purchased through the Folger Theatre Box Office at (202) 544-7077 or online at www.folger.edu/theatre.