Amadeus - Reading and Audition Notice

Reading:                         Sunday 6th October 2019, 6.00 pm, Foyer, Hampton Hill Theatre
Audition:                        Sunday 13th October 2019, Coward Suite, Hampton Hill Theatre
Performance Dates:     Saturday 25th January – Friday 31st January 2020 (Auditorium)

Amadeus by Peter Shaffer
Directed by Dane Hardie

Music, power, jealousy and the genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy it. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God.

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and eight Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Screenwriter.

This play provides an excellent range of difficulty and therefore has something for everyone, whether you are a seasoned actor or brand new to the stage. All are welcome. Below are the ages and some of the descriptors suggested by the playwright; however, no one should disqualify themselves based on this information.

We will be staying true to the location and period of the script: 18th Century Vienna.  Most dialogue will be formal English but note that most characters have lines in different languages including French, German, and Italian.

There are NO pauses for scene changes in this play.  The minor set changes are done by “servants” (stage crew and actors) who work while the actors continue to engage in conversation.

I always format the rehearsal schedule post-casting, but we would be looking at three rehearsals a week initially (two evenings and a Sunday), increasing to four at the beginning of January.

From the original director, Sir Peter Hall:
Amadeus is probably the most successful serious play of the last half century. It has triumphed everywhere. So what is its extraordinary appeal?

Amadeus is a clear-eyed celebration of Mozart and his music. He is someone whose genius can stand with Shakespeare’s. Wolfgang is of course dangerous to let on to the stage, because playwright and actors have to live up to a creativity that is almost superhuman. He also happens to be one of the great theatre composers: his music easily commands a stage. But if the portrait can be convincing, the fascination is boundless—and makes for high drama.

Shaffer’s play of course goes deeper. It looks unblinkingly at the rest of us, who are neither blessed nor cursed (like Mozart) with genius. It analyses with compassion and wit how desperately ordinary most of us are. For however talented we may secretly think ourselves to be, we remain in the great scheme of things relative mediocrities. It is only genius – that rarest and most precious of states – that is unaffected by fashion and indifferent to competition… Only genius makes its own rules.

 

Speaking and Singing* Roles

Antonio Salieri (m plays 30s and 70s), Musical favourite of the Imperial court, held in high regard, but of moderate ability. He is consumed with jealousy and frustration over the brilliance and effortless creativity of the underserving Mozart.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (m 25 – 35), Flamboyant musical genius with the demeanour and manor of a spoiled, restless child.

Constanze Weber (f 20s), Beautiful, frivolous, petulant young wife of Mozart.

Joseph II (m 40s), Emperor of Austria

Count Johann Kilian von Strack (m 30+), Groom of the Imperial Chamber. Stiff and proper, humourless, and official to the bone.

Count Franz Orsini-Rosenberg (m 30+), Director of the Imperial Opera. Supercilious opera director. Grand and slightly pretentious.

Baron Gottfried van Swieten (m 30+), Prefect of the Imperial Library. Solemn and lacking any sense of humour, dogmatic.

Two Venticelli (m/f any age), “Little Winds”, Two stylish, fast talking purveyors of news, gossip and opinion that propel the narrative.

*Katherina Cavalieri (f 20s), Salieri’s ‘beautiful’ pupil, then mistress. This role is traditionally non-speaking but I am looking for a soprano who can sing a baroque concert aria and “Kyrie” for the C Minor Mass and the Queen of the Night Aria, instead of miming these sections. Otherwise this character doesn’t have any lines.  If this is a part you would like to audition for please contact me directly prior to the read through.

 

Non-speaking Roles
The cast includes several silent roles. These parts will create an ensemble and chorus that together drive the action of the play. Although non-speaking, the following are featured:

Salieri’s Valet (m/f any age)

Salieri’s Cook (m/f any age)

Major Domo (m any age), Efficient court servant

Guiseppe Bonno (m any age)

Teresa Salieri (f 30’s), Salieri’s wife; a serious woman

The action takes place in Vienna in November 1823 and in recall, the decade 1781-1791.

 

If you would like any further information, please contact me.

Dane Hardie
Director

 

Contact Details:  To get in touch with the director before the Reading/Audition, please use the Contact page of this website and your message will be forwarded.

NOTE:   We have an open casting policy:  anyone can audition for our productions and, if cast, will then be required to join as a Full Member.

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