The opera follows the apocryphal legend that Antonio Salieri poisoned his rival and fellow composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart out of jealousy over his talent. Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) used the short story Mozart and Salieri by Alexander Pushkin as libretto, which also inspired Peter Shaffer’s famous stage play and film Amadeus.
Rimsky-Korsakov’s rarely performed two-hander is a character study, it is a close-up of Salieri and his tormented mind. He’s not just the villain in this story, we see a generous man committed to the art who praises Mozart’s work, but is torn between admiration for his fellow composer and his own jealousy.
In a new English translation and staged by an award-winning team, this original and innovative production will captivate its audience, making us witnesses, if not conspirators, of Salieri’s plan to poison Mozart.