Todd Raviotta is a Richmond, VA documentary film maker, director, videographer, cultural historian, arts educator, and a Pollak Prize Award Winner for excellence in the arts. We’re thrilled that the VCU film guru will be saying a few words on the film before we start the movie on Sunday Jan 26, 2014 for the Mozart Festival.
Todd Raviotta is a Richmond, VA documentary film maker, director, videographer, cultural historian, arts educator, and a Pollak Prize Award Winner for excellence in the arts. We’re thrilled that the VCU film guru will be saying a few words on the film before we start the movie on Sunday Jan 26, 2014 for the Mozart Festival. In order to get truly excited about his appearance, the film, and the event, we’ve asked Todd to write a few of his thoughts regarding this film. Guest blogs are always fun, but it’s a real treat to be able to share this with the world. – Classical Revolution RVA
To get you in the Mozart mood.
Todd Raviotta & Mozart, Together At Last
By MY_GLASSES_RULE | Published: JANUARY 22, 2014
When Milos Forman’s film version of Amadeus, written by Peter Shaffer and adapted from his play, came out I was a child, hooked on MTV and rock and roll music videos. However my parents had me in supplementary music appreciation classes with an amazing woman from the neighborhood. We went through the great classical composers and studied Mozart’s melodies first there, and held him in great respect. The haunting poster with the death figure overlooking Vienna was looked up at in the cinema lobby as a movie my parents saw, but Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” brought me to seeing MTV News talking about the influence of hair bands on the wigs in the film and vice versa. Then the eventual Oscar adoration cemented it in my psyche as an important film that I had not seen. When I started doing amateur basement film studies with my brother, he a classical musician and me a visual artist, we both got much enjoyment from the music, but I remember thinking “is this it?” It became one of my brothers favorite films, but I was underwhelmed.
Now since last watching, I’ve had 15 years of formal study of movies and toiled as media artist in Richmond. I have come back to Forman’s film at 35, the age Mozart died. The film plays quite differently now, knowing the craft of movie production and the director’s voice. Milos spoke a lot about his background–fleeing the Russian Communists, being banned in Czechoslovakia, his parents death in Nazi concentration camps–and how these factors informed his art while he was promoting The People Vs Larry Flynt. That film came out during my freshman year of VCU, when I began studying director’s paths. Through that lens, the subversive elements of Mozart’s art and his uncompromising genius, to do his music in a manner that made it matter for all time, connect Forman’s attraction to freedom of expression at all costs. The film is a requiem for the flaring out of brilliant art, its personal costs, and the long-burn pain of mediocrity.
by Todd Raviotta
Photo by Lucy Dacus
MOZART FESTIVAL 2014
Sunday Jaunary 26th Alternatives Boutique Carytown presents the Mozart Festival!
On Jan 26, 2014, various locations in Carytown will be filled with the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for the first-ever Mozart Festival in Richmond, VA. In order to celebrate the genius composer’s 258th birthday, Classical Revolution RVA will be performing his music in various restaurants, providing activities for families and children, and collaborating with singers from Capitol Opera. This day-long festival will culminate with a special screening of the film Amadeus at the Byrd Theatre that evening.
Events for the Mozart Festival will provide an introduction to the brilliant composer’s work for anyone, regardless of age, background, or bank account. With the exception of tickets to Amadeus at the Byrd, the entire music festival is free of charge. This is possible thanks to a variety of organizations and local businesses coming together to make this community experience a reality. On Jan 26th, Mozart’s works will be in the spotlight for brunch performances at Can Can, informative talks at Chop Suey, symphonic performances at Babe’s, a fun Magic Flute event for families at Cartwheels and Coffee, and more.
Here is the complete lineup of events:
Sunday January 26th, 2014
11am–12pm Mozart Festival Kickoff! – A special quartet performance with coffee, pastries, and Mozart at Alternatives
12-2pm Eine Kleine Brunch Musik: Chamber music, art songs, and solo sonatas on a baby grand piano at Can Can
12-1pm String Chamber Music: The clarinet quintet, a flute quartet, and the beloved viola quintet in G minor at Carytown Bistro
2-3pm Operatic Incarnations: Vocal duos, trios, and other ensembles from Mozart’s operas at Plan 9
2-3:30pm Story Time: “The Magic Flute”: A telling of the fantastical opera at Cartwheels & Coffee **This event will begin with an instrument petting zoo, Magic Flute-related crafts, and a caricature artist who will draw kids as though they lived during Mozart’s time. Then, the story of The Magic Flute will be read by NPR contributor Mark Mobley and accentuated with arias by each of the key characters in the opera, sung by members of Capitol Opera Richmond.
3-4pm Wolfgang 101: VCU orchestra conductor Daniel Myssyk talks Mozart at Chop Suey Books
4-5:30pm Paris, Prague, and Jupiter: Mozart’s Symphonies at Babes of Carytown **Musicians of Classical Revolution RVA form an orchestra to read selections from some of Mozart’s greatest symphonies and overtures, led by VCU’s orchestra conductor, Daniel Myssyk, and the Richmond Symphony’s Assistant Conductor, Erin Freeman!
6-7pm Capitol Opera Richmond presents: Mozart’s Greatest Hits: Arias with orchestral accompaniment at Can Can **Arias from The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and more!
7:30pm- AMADEUS at The Byrd Theatre & Foundation ($5 at the Byrd on the day of or $4 in advance at AlterNatives)
After the movie we’re going to celebrate the birthday boy’s big day with an after party at the Portrait House!