- I’m looking forward to seeing The Magic Flute, directed by Kenneth Branagh. He has restaged the opera using an English libretto by the well-known actor and writer Stephen Fry. I’ve been a fan of Fry’s comic acting since I first saw him in the BBC’s Blackadder series. I also enjoyed the satirical humour in his novel, The Hippopotamus.
- Presenting the opera in English and setting it during WWI may be an inspired risk, but only if the tone is right. I’m especially intrigued to see how Branagh will handle Mozart’s references to Masonic ritual set against trench warfare on the Western Front.
- Adapted for the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, the film features James Conlin conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Canadian tenor Joseph Kaiser.
- How delightful to start the festival with Mozart! It’s as if the programmers were thinking of me. With Mozart’s 250th anniversary approaching, in 2004 I was obsessed with Mozart’s life. I read biographies, listened to his music and, of course, watched Milos Forman’s brilliant film Amadeus. Peter Shaffer’s conception of a villainous Antonio Salieri, pitted against a carefree, frivolous Mozart has always stayed with me.
- For the 2004-2005 school year I wrote and staged a school musical about Mozart, the world’s most famous ‘child star.’ The show featured period costumes, live piano, violin, flute and a dance set in the French court where the child prodigy, Mozart, meets a slightly older Marie Antoinette. It was lots of fun for me and the performers who were in grades 6-8. Who knows, maybe attending the festival will inspire me to write something new.
Labels: Music, TIFF Toronto International Film Festival