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Preview: Happy Birthday, Mozart/Music of the Baroque

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What a coup for Music of the Baroque’s music director Jane Glover to have secured British actor extraordinaire Simon Callow—who created the original “Mozart” in the 1979 Royal National Theatre production of Peter Schaffer’s “Amadeus” and went on to play Mozart’s friend and librettist Emanuel Schikaneder in the 1984 multiple Oscar-winning film version—for the actual 250th Mozart birthday itself as narrator and director of a re-creation of a festive and grand 1786 Viennese party thrown by Joseph II where two newly commissioned one-act comic operas that had both been especially written for the occasion were premiered: Mozart’s “The Impresario,” K. 486, and Mozart rival and court composer Antonio Salieri’s “First the Music, Then the Words,” both operas about opera and fascinating and satirical glimpses behind the scenes of eighteenth-century musical theater. Birthday cake and champagne will be supplied for all to toast the birthday boy on his special day. Singers include Sarah Gartshore, Jane Archibald, Frank Kelley, James Maddalena and Keith Phares and music director Jane Glover will conduct the Music of the Baroque Orchestra. This special one-night event has been sold out for months, but turn-backs are expected to be available from subscribers who fled south for the winter. (Dennis Polkow)

8pm, Jan. 27, Harris Theatre, 205 E. Randolph; (312)551-1414. 

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