Amadeus,

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He was born at about 8 in the evening on Jan. 27, 1756; was bap­tized the next morn­ing as Joannes Chrysos­to­mus Wolf­gan­gus Theophilus Mozart; later pre­ferred to use the Frenchi­fied ver­sion of Theophilus — Amadè — as his mid­dle name (and on rare oc­ca­sions the Latin Amadeus, as a joke); and left the world a bet­ter place when he de­parted at the age of thirty-five. Peter Shaf­fer’s 1979 play brought him alive to a new gen­er­a­tion, both on the stages of the West End and Broad­way and through its 1984 movie adap­tion. A tale de­rived from the apoc­ryphal leg­end that Mozart was poi­soned by the jeal­ous Vi­en­nese court kapellmeis­ter An­to­nio Salieri (a story pre­vi­ously pro­mul­gated through a drama by Pushkin and an opera by Rim­sky-Kor­sakov), it raised the ire of many his­to­ri­ans. Con­sid­ered as a fic­tion­al­ized play rather than the doc­u­men­tary it never in­tended to be, it re­mains mag­nif­i­cent, an imag­ined study of artis­tic jeal­ousy and the un­fair­ness Na­ture shows in dis­tribut­ing ge­nius. The NT Live se­ries broad­casts Shaf­fer’s play di­rect from the Na­tional The­atre in Lon­don, in a her­alded pro­duc­tion fea­tur­ing Adam Gillen as Mozart and Lu­cian Msamati as Salieri — with the ac­com­pa­ny­ing score per­formed by the South­bank Sin­fo­nia, a fully pro­fes­sional cham­ber or­ches­tra. You can catch it at the Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter (211 W. San Francisco St.) at 7 p.m. on Thurs­day, Feb. 2. Tick­ets ($22) can be had by call­ing 505-988-1234 or www. tick­etssantafe.org.

— J.M.K.

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