A Baroque and rock tribute to Mozart

The history's most illustrious composer is to be celebrated, as Shanghai gets ready to rock in Baroque style with the French musical "Mozart – L'opera Rock."
Ti Gong

The most illustrious composer of our time is to be celebrated, as Shanghai gets ready to rock in Baroque style with the French musical “Mozart – L’opera Rock.” 

Italian singer Mikelangelo Loconte stars as Mozart, while French musical actor Lauran Ban plays his father in the musical to be staged at SAIC Shanghai Culture Square on January 2-21.

Similar with the German musical “Mozart,” presented at the same venue last year, “Mozart – L’opera Rock” shows the musical genius as a real human facing opportunities, seduction, jealousy and obstacles as he evolves. 

Yet, the combination of rock and Baroque styling in music, costumes and stage settings adds a unique attraction to the musical, says Fei Yuanhong, vice president of Shanghai Culture Square.

“The German version told the classic tragedy of Mozart in modern costumes and presentation while the French version this time is more like displaying a modern rocky soul in flowery retro dresses and a palace,” Fei explains. “And Mozart will be portrayed more confidently this time.”

Loconte will wear his signature smoky eyes and rock around in flowery suits with delicate embroidery, while the girls, with colorful dresses and dazzling makeup, dance around cavortingly. 

The music used in “Mozart – L’opera Rock” is generally rock and pop, yet traces of Mozart’s own work will also be featured, such as “Twinkle Little Star Variation,” “Symphony No. 40” and “Requiem in D minor.” 

Most of the detailed arrangements in the musical are a tribute to the great composer. For example, the white dress, with black bowknot assembling the piano keyboard, is for Maria Anna Mozart (the great man’s sister) who was good at piano. 

Mozart taking the huge commission money for “Requiem” from a masked man as “a call from the death” implies a widely spread rumor that he composed the piece for his own funeral. And the relation between Salieri and Mozart is portrayed as both bosom friends and opponents, following historical records.

The musical which premiered in 2009 in Paris was a great success and led to tours in Japan, South Korea, Ukraine and Russia. And the show’s soundtrack has been in the French music charts for 20 weeks.

The show’s frontman, Loconte, has claimed three MRJ Music Awards for his performance in the musical. And ironically, the Italian singer is 35, the same age as Mozart when he died. 

Ban, who plays Mozart’s father this time, played Salieri in the musical’s tour in South Korea.

“As a musical actor, it is common for me to shift between different roles, but it may be a bit awkward to hear Loconte calling me father,” says Ban.

Ti Gong

Performance details

Date: January 2-21, 2pm, 7:30pm

Venue: SAIC Shanghai Culture Square

Address: 597 Fuxing Rd M.

Tickets: 80-1,080 yuan

Tel: 6472-6000


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