Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? You’ll be happy you asked because Mozart In The Jungle gives you the big reveal.
Based on the memoir of an oboist, the story follows the talented and driven musicians of a fictional philharmonic orchestra in New York.
Take a look at the list below to see why this twist on classical music is worth a watch.
Gael García Bernal
Mozart in the Jungle kicks off with the introduction of a new conductor, Rodrigo, played by the devilishly handsome Gael García Bernal. Rodrigo is passionate about music, and is a complete artiste. He’s also got the emotional range of a rollercoaster, as the rest of the orchestra soon discovers. Knowing that the symphony could use a little shaking up, Rodrigo arrives to push the limits of his musicians, show off his own skills and, of course, cause panic amongst investors by displaying erratic behavior. Let the show begin!
Sex, Drugs and Classical Music
The tagline for this series hints at what’s to come. It’s not all violins and clarinets - it’s also about the people behind them and what they get up to. It’s easy to see the grace and sophistication of the symphony when you’re off stage, but Mozart tells us a more vibrant story: these guys really get up to no good, and they do it in style. From a percussionist who deals drugs to a cellist who makes a talented mistress, these characters aren’t showing any signs of stage fright.
Cue the cast
Mozart has an ensemble cast of eccentric characters, so it’s just as well that their lead conductor is as quirky as they are. There’s the pompous president Gloria Windsor (Bernadette Peters), the resentful former conductor Thomas (Malcolm McDowell), a sultry veteran cellist named Cynthia (Saffron Burrows) and the newbie of the group, Hailey (Lola Kirke). An aspiring oboist, her dream to play in the symphony never dies, even though the closest she can get to having a seat in the orchestra is by being Rodrigo’s muse. Colourful only begins to describe these players.
A Story about Making It
Lots of shows find themselves in New York (Girls, anyone?) but none have really explored the goings on of the philharmonic. Hailey gets her big break when Rodrigo spots her talent and asks her to fill in temporarily, as the fifth oboist in a performance. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go as well as she imagined; but that doesn’t mean the end of her career. On the contrary, Hailey’s journey of Making It is just beginning.
It’s safe to say that there aren’t many shows about classical music on television right now, so if your knowledge is limited, don’t worry. Music is, after all, about people and emotions. The great thing about Mozart is that you won’t feel like a stranger at a party: there’s no overwhelming information about classical music, the philharmonic or the instruments. There is overwhelming entertainment from the musicians, and the added pleasure of listening to a beautiful concerto, from the comfort of your couch.