This article was originally published on Cleveland.com
By Peter Feher
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The classical season at Severance Music Center got off to a shocking start on Thursday, Sept. 2, with the Cleveland Orchestra’s live performance of the score to Amadeus. In the first half of the evening alone, there was cursing, flatulence, some hanky-panky, an attempted suicide, and much talk of murder — and all because of one 18th-century composer.
The brilliant 1984 film directed by Miloš Forman was adapted from Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play of the same name — Shaffer also wrote the screenplay. Yet nothing about Mozart’s character as portrayed in Amadeus should really scandalize contemporary audiences. The myths and misconceptions around the life and work of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart — he preferred Amadé over Amadeus — would sooner upset a historian than outrage the average 21st-century concertgoer.