After leaving Barcelona, I hopped onto an 11 hour bus ride for Lyon to see Mozart, L’Opera Rock. If there are any music enthusiasts reading this, I know Mozart is generally classified in the Classical era, but later in his career, he started incorporating Baroque features from the epoch before. If that minor detail doesn’t excuse my title, I’m sorry I was trying to be punny.
In high school, we were introduced to a comedie musicale called Le Roi Soleil about King Louis XIV, aka the Sun King. If you don’t know it, you should check it out. The most popular song from that one is probably Mon Essential. The musical also features an artist I like, Christophe Maé, as the Louis’ carefree brother, Philippe.
After Le Roi Soleil stopped touring, the producers, Dove Attia and Albert Cohen, began work on Mozart l’Opera Rock which is just as good, if not better. Another carry over from that production is the actor/singer/song writer/generally talented guy, Merwin Rim. In Le Roi Soleil, he is the Duc de Beaufort. In Mozart, he portrays L’Aubergiste (the Barkeep) and the Clown .
As I said, the musical follows the life of Amadeus Mozart, a young, talented, passionate composer pushed out of Salzberg by the new emperor. I don’t want to give too much away (it’s based on history so if you’re curious you can just look up a biography of Mozart), but here’s a brief summary. He and his mother make their way to Mannheim where a copyist who claims to be a big fan offers to help Mozart distribute his music if he meets his family. However, his real intention is to have his oldest daughter, Aloysia, seduce Mozart and have him write a song for her to further her singing career. Mozart is so enchanted with her voice and beauty that he falls madly in love with her and forgoes work to compose an opera for her. However, their other daughter, Constanze, truly loves Mozart and doesn’t like to see him get strung along. Mozart’s mother doesn’t want this either so she writes to his father back in Salzberg who convinces him to think about his career. Desperate to find a paying job and heartbroken, a somewhat lustful Mozart goes to Paris to find work. Finding none and losing his mother during the process, Mozart returns to Salzberg where he is again under appreciated, then goes to Vienna with dreams of writing an opera in German (as opposed to the classic Italian verse). There, he meets his rival, Antonio Salieri, who is a perpetual thorn in his side. While chance reunites him with Constanze and her family, Mozart’s works are openly mocked. He tries to find work with limited success and ultimately dies with his last work unfinished.
I’m really glad you can find the plot synopsis online because otherwise I would have been completely lost during the performance. I own the CD and understand some of the songs, but still, it’s a little difficult at times. For example, I’m pretty sure they made a Lady Gaga joke during the performance, but I didn’t quite get it. Nevertheless, I’ve been singing Mozart music all week long. Here are a few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy. (if the songs aren’t at the beginning of the clip, fast forward a couple seconds or enjoy the dialogue.)