Vienna continues to be a hotbed when it comes to developing new stage musicals.
Elisabeth closes its triumphant run on April 25, Dance of the Vampires is Broadway-bound, and now comes Mozart!.
The Vereinigten Buehnen Wien (VBW, United Stages of Vienna) recently announced its newest musical project which will open in the fall of 1999. Mozart! deals with the life of Austria's most famous composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Michael Kunze, who has also penned Elisabeth and Vampires, is responsible for the book, Sylvester Levay (Elisabeth, movies: Hot Shots, Flashdance) for the music. His songs will be interspersed with original Mozart music.
Kunze says the project will have nothing in common with Peter Shaffer's movie Amadeus. "Avoiding the usual cliches about Mozart, we want to show the two sides of him: The boy wonder Amade and his music, as well as the grownup Wolfgang, struggling for love and recognition," Kunze said. The production team for Mozart will be announced this summer, auditions begin this fall. The production costs have been announced as mounting up to between 30 and 35 million Schilling (about 3-3.5 million US$).
Rudi Klausnitzer, director of the VBW, is proud of the shows his two main theatres can offer in the future: Chicago will follow Elisabeth at the Theater an der Wien, brought to Vienna by Walter Bobbie and Ann Reinking in September 1998. After its limited run of three months, the house will be closed for reconstruction work.
The Raimundtheater currently houses Dance of the Vampires , which is playing to mostly sold-out houses for an open-end run.
- By Bernd Freimueller