Originally published on Exeunt
It seems only natural that one would have to step over other people to achieve a truly legendary status. On the path to greatness, there are bound to be some roadblocks, individuals that get left behind in your wake. As a child prodigy, it was inevitable that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would anger a lot of his older contemporaries with his natural compositional genius. Those that had dedicated their lives to studying music and art would see a young naïve maestro waltz on in and cement his place in history. That is definitely the way that history has branded Antonio Salieri – the one that time forgot, second best, runner-up. Alexander Pushkin’s short play Mozart and Salieri takes full advantage of this competitive rivalry, a tongue in cheek vignette that re-imagines Salieri as a rival with murderous intent, determined to do what it takes to reclaim his title and be remembered in the history books.