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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

January 10, 2006 | From Associated Press
It's a Mozart mystery as haunting as his "Requiem" -- and apparently it won't be solved anytime soon. After months of sophisticated DNA sleuthing reminiscent of a "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" episode, forensics experts admitted on national television that they still can't say with certainty whether an aged skull is that of the composer, as some believe.
January 4, 2006 | William J. Kole, Associated Press
Have scientists found Mozart's skull? Researchers said Tuesday that they'll reveal the results of DNA tests in a documentary airing Sunday on Austrian television as part of a year of celebratory events marking the composer's 250th birthday. The tests were done last year by experts at the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Innsbruck, and the results will be made public in "Mozart: The Search for Evidence," to be screened by state broadcaster ORF.
November 3, 2005 | Chris Pasles
Kenneth Branagh will direct a film version of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," the BBC reports. James Conlon, who becomes music director for the Los Angeles Opera in 2006-07, will conduct the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Filming will begin in January at London's Shepperton Studios. Stephen Fry, who collaborated with Branagh on the 1992 Branagh-directed film "Peter's Friends," wrote the libretto, transferring the setting to World War I.
March 20, 2005 | Chris Pasles
Salzburg and Vienna may be dueling for which city will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth next year with more splendor, but the Austrian province of Styria plans to opt out. Styria has declared itself a "Mozart-free zone," Bernhard Rinner, head of the province's Cultural Service, told the APA News Service this month. "It can be excluded at the present stage of planning that Styria will take part in the Mozart Year 2006, propagated by Austrian advertising," Rinner said.
January 22, 2005 | From Associated Press
The Salzburg Festival will produce all 22 operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart next year in a marathon 250th birthday present to the Austrian musical genius. "The great seven operas ... would have been too little for Salzburg," said festival director Peter Ruzicka. "The idea is to be able to examine the development of this unique genius and to contrast it with the music of the 21st century."
November 2, 2004 | From Associated Press
DNA tests could soon solve a century-old mystery -- whether a skull held by the International Mozarteum Foundation is that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Archeologists have opened a grave in Salzburg thought to contain the remains of Mozart's father and other relatives. Experts plan to compare the remains' genetic material with the foundation's skull to determine if it belonged to the famed Austrian composer. Mozart died in 1791 and was buried in a pauper's grave at Vienna's St. Marxer Cemetery.
June 29, 2004 | From Associated Press
A Mozart opera modernized to feature prostitutes, full-frontal nudity, drugs and sadistic violence has created a storm in Berlin. The premiere of "The Abduction From the Seraglio" at the Komische Oper last week was met with shouts of "Scandal!" and "That's not Mozart!" and threats by opera house sponsor DaimlerChrysler that it would pull its $24,000 annual funding.
June 29, 2003 | Scott Timberg, Times Staff Writer
It stops just short of promising eyesight to the blind or rain from dry skies. But disciples of "the Mozart effect" make impressive claims: Music, they say, can do everything from boosting Junior's math scores to curing the terminally ill to making dullards creative. The idea has become a phenomenon. Part of cultural gossip for years, it crystallized with the 1997 publication of Don Campbell's "The Mozart Effect."
Last spring, when Warner Home Video announced that it was releasing a director's cut of "Amadeus" on DVD (after a limited theatrical run), many observers assumed it was purely a marketing ploy to capitalize on the success of "Apocalypse Now Redux." Not so, according to producer Saul Zaentz and director Milos Forman.
L.A. is full of modern-day Antonio Salieris who think of themselves as thwarted, misunderstood Mozarts. As such, Peter Shaffer's 1979 "Amadeus" may well carry an extra layer of resonance here. Shaffer's play always had an ingenious pop hook in its favor. Its theme is hackdom, and hacks are universal. Fear of hackdom, or worse, the confirmed self-realization thereof, is an international fear, detectable far outside the entertainment industries. (No, really.) Everyone, everywhere knows envy.
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