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VocalEye Virtual Presentations - Amadeus

A photo from Wikipedia of the Amadeus playbill

I can't say that I've ever had an image of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in my head but, if I ever did, it wouldn't have been an image of a quintessential dandy in pink Doc Martins.

It was July 22, 2020 and time for a virtual viewing of the National Theatre's Amadeus, courtesy of VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society's Watch Party Wednesday.

As Mozart's trials intensified during the production, his attire became more somber, with those pink Doc Martins eventually being traded for black.

Thank you Ingrid Turk, VocalEye describer, for that significant wardrobe detail. In conjunction with the pre-recorded description provided by VocalEye's London colleagues, Ingrid's pre-show insights created a tragic visual representation of an accentric prodigy driven to despair and destitution by his jealous contemporary.

Yes, the music and acting conveyed the point but, as someone who is legally blind, I appreciated not being denied the visual tells.

I watched the play enthralled, as always, by Mozart's prowess. I admired his talent for harnessing the energy of discordance and making audiences weep with the beauty of it. The resistance and revulsion of the aristocracy to this new approach both amused and frustrated me. True, there is something pure and ethereal about settling into the familiar and the safe.

Sanitize. Homogenize. Unify.

But does it unify?

Or does it simply relegate the discarded to the shadows where they fester in discontent?

Like Mozart, I vote for the presence of a multitude of voices that cross class and social and ethnic lines. I hold in higher regard a society that is a vibrant patchwork rather than a refined sheen. Sheens grow dull and, sooner or later, that discontent, that discordance breaks through.

Fear and prejudice presents difference as ugly.

Mozart showed us the opposite.

A lesson for the modern world, perhaps.

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