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BackstagePASS >Update

The Phoenix Theatre's 2014/15 season is going out on top! With outstanding reviews and lots of full houses, Amadeus is proving to be a great example of the amazing work our students are doing!

Listen Up: Director's talk

Click below to listen online to MFA candidate and director Chari Arespacochaga in a Q & A conversation with Peter McGuire and the audience talking about the differences between the play Amadeus and the film adaptation, playwright Peter Shaffer and Chari's creative process.

In the press: "Bold and ambitious" and 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Kudos to director Chari Arespacochaga and the entire cast and creative team for all their well deserved praise from the media for this show!

Times Colonist Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars!
"imbued ... with wonderful vitality"

Times Colonist theatre reviewer Adrian Chamberlain found much to love in our production of Amadeus found that "Actors bring vitality to UVic play." ... "Salieri is a gargantuan role — the character never leaves the stage. Jenson Kerr... playing the role with confidence and brio. Kerr, whose handsome voice projects well, succeeded in making Salieri a sympathetic (albeit despicable) character..."

"The other lead roles are also played by strong performers. Aidan Correia captures Mozart’s immaturity and eccentricity, his inappropriate laugh, love of silly jokes ... and adolescent conceitedness. "The physical vitality Correia displays on stage contrasts well with Kerr’s staid movements. Both actors have done fine work here."

"Constanze, Mozart’s fiancée and then wife, is a more two-dimensional role... it’s to Samantha Lynch’s credit that she skilfully brings out the life in this character; she finds Constanze’s pragmatic grit and ordinary-gal likability."

"Director Chari Arespacochaga — who has imbued the show with wonderful vitality — has reset the opening and closing scenes of Amadeus in an insane asylum... It’s an intelligent approach that works well."

"Allan Stichbury’s terrific set ... encourages us to consider the serious themes underneath the comedy. The costumes are sumptuous, a feast for the eye. And the pathos is evenly leavened with humour and hijinx."

The notion is further reflected in the superb costumes, designed by Pauline Stynes... The costumes are all rooted in the 18th century, yet the look is theatrically heightened."

"Overall, this is an entertaining, satisfying production well worth seeking out."

Janis LaCouvée:

"... a bold andambitious undertaking..."

Local theatre blogger Janis LaCouvée loved Allan Stichbury's set design where "... Creatures shriek, running into corners and tearing at clothes" and "the set plays with perspective and angles, creating a boxed and claustrophobic world... within the confines of the asylum... confounding our visual perception... and mimicing "the nature of a diseased mind."

"Aidan Correia’s portrayal of Mozart as a brilliant, spoiled, vulgar and indulged brat is simply marvellous, made all the stronger for the contrast of this stubborn, capricious, wilful man-child with the careful, considered and vengeful Salieri.

"[Samantha] ...Lynch moves from unaware young lover to astute and tenacious wife as she negotiates with Salieri for a court position for her husband—the moment is poignant and fraught with danger."

Director Chari Arespacachoga does not shirk from difficult questions; her Amadeus is a bold and ambitious undertaking which brings essential reflections on the nature of talent, ambition and legacy to the forefront. Under her inspired direction the students of the University of Victoria theatre department have once again delivered superior theatre to the stage, ending the year with a production that is as complex as the men it immortalizes."

CBC Victoria - On the Island

CBC Radio’s On The Island theatre reviewer Monica Prendergast enjoyed the play.

"The production is working well on a number of levels. It has an extremely strong design, a lovely set by Allan Stichbury... ...beautifully lit by Michael Whitfield who gives us a gorgeous design... and really nice costumes by Pauline Stynes, so the whole thing gets lifted to a whole other level."

"I think the students do very well with the show, the ensemble work was particularly strong."

"Chari Arespacochaga is the MFA directing candidate... her resume has a lot of musicals, so I could see she was very good at the ensemble work."

Also check out these other media iterviews:

More Production Photos!

The photos from this show are, thanks to our photographer David Lowes. We've posted a larger selection of images on our Phoenix Theatre Facebook site. Click by and see some more! (And while you're there, LIKE our page to see when new information is posted!)

Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of Victoria's Department of Theatre, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001

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