AMADEUS by Peter Shaffer from June 8 to June 26, 1982 at the S.G.I.O. Theatre for the Queensland Theatre Company.
Directed by Mick Rodger; Set Design by James Ridewood; Costume Design by Tony Tripp; Lighting Design by James Henson; Choreography by Deborah Wray; Pianist: Anthony McGill; Stage Managed by Kristin Reuter and Assistant Stage Managed by Toby Simkin and Jan Levi (Sound).
STARRING Alan Edwards (Salieri); John Allen (Mozart); Reginald Cameron; David Clendinning; Duncan Wass; Stu Cochrane; Karen Crone (Ghost of Mrs. Salieri); Peter Noble; Eugene Gilfedder; Kevin Hides; Laurence Hodge; Dudley Hogarth; Anthony McGill; Christine O’Connor; Errol O’Neill; Gillian Shergold and Darien Sticklen.
Understudies included: Barry Searle (Salieri)
Queensland Theatre Company:
(collectively over my tenure)
Executive Staff: Alan Edwards, AM MBE (Founding Artistic Director); Peter Duncan* / Gregory Gesch* (Assistant Director); Arthur Frame AM (Production Manager); Gillian Coar (Executive Officer); Christine Walsh / Ken Kennett OAM (Public Relations & Publicity Officer); June Craw OAM (Finance and Business Officer); Lewis Savage (Subscriptions Officer); Helen Mayes (Clerical Assistant); Lloyd Nickson (Director, Theatre in Education); Richard Magnus (Fundraising Chairman); Diane Leith (Administration) and Susan Bonning / Jennie Lewis (Receptionist).
Production Staff: Graham Maclean / James Ridewood (Resident Designer); Bill Shannon / Beverley Hill (Design Assistant); Caroline Gyucha (Scenic Artist); James Henson (Lighting Designer); David Lees (Electrician); Michael Wormald / Gary Cameron / Paul Parkinson / David Palm (Properties); Howard Steele (Head Carpenter); Des Dougan / Peter Vosiliunas (Carpenter); Cornelis Boogaart* (Apprentice Carpenter); Marie Perry-Watson / Lexi Wright / Jay Mansfield-Askew / Cynthia Bowen (Wardrobe Supervisor); Ken Bushby / Thelma Cope / Meredith Fogg / Margaret Reeves / Danny Healy / Arlie McGill / Anne Long / Kerry Yates (Wardrobe); Ellen Kennedy / David McCrudden / Kit Oldfield / Patrick Whelan / Kristin Reuter / Jan Levi / Victor Ashelford / Colin Wilson / Barry Melville / Toby Simkin / Brian Barnes / Vito Arena / Peter Reeve± / Sussanne Humphries / Julianne White (Stage Management); Vicki Birch / Yvette (Capt) O’Brien (Production Secretary); Dawn Grieg (Wardrobe Hire) and Ivan/Gloria Pierce & Derrick George (Photographer).
Representation: Yolande Bird / Diana Franklin (London Representative); Michael Menzies (New York Representative) and John Krummel OAM (Sydney Casting & Repertoire Consultant).
S.G.I.O. Theatre Staff: Jim Wright (Manager); Alban Riley / Don Fergusson (Assistant Manager); Peter Petrovich / Ray Calcutt (Head Mechanist); Patrick (Paddy) Teuma / David Malacari (Head Electrician) and Dallas Black / Kay Fifas (Booking Office)
Albert Park Theatre Staff: Wayne McKenna (House Manager); Margo Morris (Box Office)
Associate Artists: Bille Brown AM; Carol Burns; Reginald Cameron OAM, Ivar Kants; Joe MacColum; Warren Mitchell; James Ridewood, Cliff Simcox; Babette Stephens AM MBE and Geraldine Turner OAM.
QTC Guild: Magda Wollner (Coordinator); Alice Beacroft, Joan Chamberlain, Bobbie Glyn Evans, Maureen Fallon, Sonja Farmer, Beryl Foote, Neil Fulwood, Dolores Garland, Elaine Heath, Edna Heathwood, Margaret Hill, Ena Huppert, June Jamieson, Eva Klug, Irene Lefman, Patrick Mellick, Hillary Mosten, Maureen Mortensen, Barbara Nielsen, Joyce Nixon Smith, Gloria Phillips, Vivienne Reddy, Marea Reed, Melina Reed, Margaret Robinson, Grace Reynolds, June Sheedy, Ann Shevill, Toby Simkin, Sybil Simpson, Elaine Skinner, Anne Smith and Jess Yeowart (Volunteers)
* Salaries were assisted by a special grant from the Theatre Board of the Australia Council, a statutory body of the Commonwealth Government.
± Services were provided by the National Institute of Dramatic Art.
^ Services were provided courtesy of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra
The Queensland Theatre Company acknowledged the financial assistance of the Queensland State Government and the Commonwealth Government through the Theatre Board of the Australia Council without which the continued operation of the Company would not have been possible.
The Queensland Theatre Company was a founding member of CAPPA (Confederation of Australia Professional Performing Arts)
The play explored the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, the court composer for the Emperor of Austria in the late eighteen century.
Amadeus begins in 1823 on the day that the elderly Salieri believes will be his last. Once a composer in the Austrian court of Emperor Joseph ll, his musical compositions have now been branded as mediocre and he is all but forgotten. Addressing the audience as “Ghosts of the Future,” he narrates and reenacts his relationship to Mozart. Many years earlier, Salieri recognized the genius of the young Mozart, who arrives at the court as a famous musical prodigy. Envy burns in the once pious Salieri, who renounces God and sets out to completely destroy his rival.
Sadly, I lost my archives of programs and photos in 9/11,
and the above is the only imagery I have since found.
If you have anything, please send to me?
The exhilarating experience of watching my boss of bosses, Alan Edwards (Salieri), using a cut-throat razor (made of a syringe and small rubber eye dropper filled with fake blood), cutting his throat 8 shows a week in a mesmerizing performance… while between shows (and runs to the Brisbane Arcade to buy more blood), for an hour a day on my knees polishing out scuff marks from a stunning ultra shiny black floor, (key to James Ridewood’s brilliant set design) in radiating circles from DSC to Upstage… and the opening savage whispers of the cast hissing the name ‘Salieri’ and ‘assassin’ and the two Venticelli darting around hidden speakers in the auditorium ceiling and walls was absolutely mesmerizing aurally.
It was a team effort to pull off this production, no departmentalizing — everyone crossed lines to help, and the vast majority were all local.
All in all too this day, one of my happiest experiences in my learning theatre craft, despite making me a chain smoker (with St. Moritz menthol, largely since my boss, Stage Manager Kristin Reuter also smoked that brand — hey it was the ’80’s).
DJ and I later became close friends with Peter Shaffer, and I often referred to this production as the one he should have regretted missing the most, as it was the best.
“ Well… There it is. ”
Did You Know?
History has immortalized Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but very few people know that Mozart’s older sister, Maria Anna Mozart, was also a musical prodigy. At age 11, Maria, who went by the nickname ‘Nannerl‘, began performing publicly. She played the harpsichord and piano alongside a 6 year-old Mozart. Nannerl and Mozart, under their father Leopold Mozart’s supervision, toured for more than 3 years. Over the course of their tours, they travelled to 88 cities, and their performances received critical acclaim.
Nannerl stopped performing publicly when she turned 18. Leopold, who once took great pride in having two musical prodigies as children, ended her career because he deemed it improper for a woman of marriageable age to perform outside of the domestic sphere. Nannerl obeyed her father and left public performances to Mozart. This is unfortunate, since Nannerl’s love of music most likely influenced Mozart’s love of music. Leopold taught Nannerl to play the harpsichord years before teaching it to Mozart.
Nannerl, fortunately, continued her love of music despite being unable to perform for dignitaries or the masses. There is evidence that she composed music throughout her life: in some of his letters, Mozart praised Nannerl’s composing skills. When thinking of Nannerl, it is hard not to wonder whether she would have reached legendary status like Mozart if not for her gender.