In honor of the celebration of Mozart's 250th birthday I thought I'd share connections between Mozart and Star Wars.
I'll expand upon the most well-known of the group.
Mark Hamill got the part of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Peter Schafer's Amadeus, first on tour nationally, starting in May of 1983, then landing on Broadway (yes, THE Broadway), at the Broadhurst Theatre at 235 West 44th Street in NYC.
In order to prepare for his role in Amadeus he was coached on the keyboard by Nathan R. Matthews who was and is a New York based music director, conductor vocal coach, pianist and composer. In spite of the piano training, Hamill admitted that he only got as far as Jingle Bells in real life yet still managed to pull of the look of playing the piano for the stage production.
Trivia tidbit: Hamill moved to New York with his wife and two sons (Griffin, the youngest, was only 3 months old), from California, to make sure that the family stayed together during the run of the play.
Hamill turned down the opportunity to play Amadeus in the film version in 1984, that part eventually went to Tom Hulce.
These are the other Star Wars actors that have Mozart connections:
Click the links for more information on each actor:
*Kenny Baker - 1984 (Film) - Parody Commendatore
*Todd Boekelheide - 1984 (Film) Sound designer (Received an Oscar for his work on the film)
*Marc Bauman - 1998 (Stage) - Antonio Salieri (Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA)
*David Dukes - 1980 (Stage) - replacement Antonio Salieri (Broadhurst Theatre, NY)
*Dermot Crowley - 1979 (Stage) (Royal National Theatre & Her Majesty's, London)
*Peter Firth - 1981 - Amadeus (Stage) - Mozart (Broadhurst Theatre, New York, NY)
*Robert Machray - 1999 (Stage) - Salieri's Cook/Citizen of Vienna/understudy for Baron Van Swieten (Music Box Theatre, New York, NY)
Mozart fans are in heaven as the classic stations, orchestras, philharmonics and symphonies, etc. are putting extra effort to celebrate Mozart's legacy this year.
For more information on Mozart go to The Mozart Project.