Salieri’s brisk, vibrant comedy is a hidden masterpiece, combining the perils of courtship with the 18th century’s burgeoning taste for crackpot science. Director and designer Jeremy Gray’s commitment to the score, the work and this much-maligned composer shines out in Bampton’s engaging production, sung in exceptionally clear English by a talented cast.
You can’t produce Salieri without dealing with the Mozart question: perhaps, more properly, we should term it the Amadeus question. In his pre-performance talk, Jeremy Gray quoted these moving lines:
How comely, also, to forgive; we should,
As Mozart, were he living, surely would,
Remember kindly Salieri‘s shade,
Accused of murder and his works unplayed,