Baby baby, do it to me, rock me Amadeus Amadeus

This pop interpretation of Mozart is not for the purists, but rather a bold introduction to a new crowd of classical music groupies. Incorporating water cascading from out of nowhere, the cast of singers are literally gurgling their lyrics underwater. Imagine 22,000 people – the number of people who have already seen the show –crammed into your bathroom watching you sing along to Mozart renditions while splashing around in the tub. It’s a very public display of what would usually be a private moment, but audiences can’t get enough of it. The show has reopened since its success in January and February, with the original cast and musicians bringing you another 15 chances to experience a unique interpretation of some of the most masterful compositions of all time. 


The creative team who brought you Bob Dylan and Come Together have taken on a different challenge all together, to make a theatre show based on classical music enjoyable for a pop crowd. Nikolaj Cederholm and brothers Peter and Jens Hellemann transform 30 of Mozart’s compositions – from works including The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni and Eine kleine Nachtmusik and lesser known tunes – into grand theatrical numbers. The show is not about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart the man, but rather a celebration of his works. We often hear Mozart’s music in our every day lives, whether it is on TV, in ads or in films without realising he is the man behind the tune. One of Cederholm and the Hellemann Brothers’ objectives was to bring more awareness of Mozart’s work to those who are not already interested in the classical genre. 


Betty Nansen Teatret’s Martin Biil says the show may create a divide between classical traditionalists who think the interpretation is “a bit too much” and more modern audiences who will enjoy the show despite all the classical music. 


“It’s presenting Mozart’s music in a way that makes it appealing to new audiences, including myself. I’m now a classical music convert,” Biil says. 


The music is the hero of the performance, and songwriter Neill Furio has written English lyrics to bring a fresh perspective to compositions over 220 years old. The lyrics, which tie in modern themes, are sung in English, and free songbooks are distributed for each performance with both English and Danish translations. In a way the tunes have been recycled to make them more appealing to contemporary pop sensibilities. 


The outlandish and absurd accompanying visuals complement the power of Mozart’s music in a spectacular sensory explosion. Instead of powdered wigs, think of Ziggy Stardust kicking around puddles of water in waterproof period dress. Ropes are used in the choreography, and the enthralling masked actors sing and dance in or around bathtubs splashed around the stage. Playing in such an intimate venue, the intensity of the performance will wash you away. And at the end of the show, when you take your songbook away with you, you might be surprised to find yourself singing some renditions in your own bathtub at home. 



Betty Nansen Teatret, Frederiksberg Alle 57, Frederiksberg;

Starts April 24, ends May 12, performances Mon-Fri at 20:00, Sat at 15:00;

Tickets: 150-360kr; 120 minutes with intermission;