Cadenza: Mozart’s Last Year by Robert Salerno


in a new collaboration with


As part of the 25th Anniversary Season of Mainly Mozart,

Vantage Theatre presents Robert Salerno’s highly acclaimed

“Cadenza: Mozart’s Last Year”

at The Timken Museum

Balboa Park, San Diego

May 25th at 7pm

Champagne Reception with the artists following the performance.

Charlene Baldrige’s Theatre review:
Mozart in a Gallery

I saw Robert Salerno’s reworked Cadenza: Mozart’s Last Year on May 25.

He originally wrote it in honor of Mozart’s 250th anniversary, and after its creation Vantage Theatre presented it at Centro Cultural de la Raza.
Now produced by Mainly Mozart, the Timken Gallery and Vantage Theatre, the fantastical work concerns Mozart’s last year and how he struggled with way too many commissions (among them La Clemenza de Tito written for Emperor Leopold’s coronation) and ill health, working feverishly to finish his Requiem before the end, which he knew was coming. Salerno weaves in music principally from The Magic Flute and Requiem. It dawned on me, as Mozart (Rhys Green) died a peaceful death thanks to one of his characters, Sarastro, played by the imposing Steve Oliver, that the in-box is never empty; that all creative people want to finish their work before the end comes. It is a blessing to know that in the great scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter; that Mozart is remembered even though he left his Requiem vv incomplete; and that by extension lesser artists will be remembered as well, even if the magnum opus is incomplete.

Salerno managed to pare his magnum opus to fewer than 90 minutes without sacrificing the humor, the grandeur and the assurance it conveys. What a blessing it is to die peacefully even though one’s inbox is never emptied. All one need do is oust the Queen of the Night.
Others in the company were Allison Boettcher as Mozart’s wife, Constanza; Leigh Scarritt as diva Josepha Weber Hofer/Queen of the Night; Skyler Dennon as Magic Flute promoter Schikenader; Abner Genece as opera producer Guardasoni; Darren Kelsen as the young Beethoven; Dan Feraldo as Mozart’s collaborator, Süssmayr; and Greg Stevens as Einstein, who declares, “I don’t make reality; I’m merely reporting it.”

Salerno’s vision of reality, seen throughout Cadenza: Mozart’s Last Year, is worthy of more sightings/hearings. As it is, the one-time performance during the Mainly Mozart Festival was not enough. Twice the capacity of the Timken gallery could have been sold.

“A thought-provoking contribution to one’s personal ‘field of dreams’…”

“Touching… and marvelously funny throughout…”

–San Diego Newspaper Group

“Critic’s Pick”

–City Beat

“Salerno’s otherworldly play made for a rare day to be savored for months to come…”

–Village News

“There’s a lot to commend here. Vantage is certainly to be commended for taking chances, with new work and provocative ideas.”


“creative exuberance bursts through…”

–SD TheatreScene

Cadenza: Mozart’s Last Year by Artist In Residence Robert Salerno, a new look at the most famous tragedy in music history. At the height of his creative powers, Mozart is stricken by a horrible fatal illness. Now, it is a race against time to complete the work that means everything to him. Ever the creative genius, he confronts death on his own terms, aided by several unusual characters and a trip into the eleventh dimension of Modern Physics.