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Meet our ratbag Wolfgang

Wolfgang (Photography by Damien Bredberg)

Straight from the score and onto the stage, the man known as Mozart appears amidst a puff of powder, wigged and ready to throw musical madness into a crescendo of dives, swoops and twirls. Featuring mischievous acrobats and a musician, Wolfgang reinvents the composer’s magical music with a circus twist. To his mother, he is Wolfgang. To those who are watching, he is Mozart.

Experience the latest family-friendly production from Circa, featuring a fusion of circus, movement and music. Watch as the notes are physically lifted off the page as performers bring the renowned compositions to life amidst a storm of powder, tumbles and crashes, all under the eccentric swirl of the conductor’s baton.

Creation of this whimsical new piece begins next month, and Circa’s Artistic Director and director of Wolfgang Yaron Lifschitz answered a few questions and gave his insight on what he envisioned the world of Wolfgang will look like.

Wolfgang is a brand new work – where did the inspiration of this work come from?
The music of Mozart and his personality. The question of how you can be a dart-playing, pun-loving ratbag and a genius. Mostly it comes from how much life I feel in the music, and how little I see when it’s performed like it’s in a museum.

What is the narrative of the piece?
I’m starting with some kind of crisis – Mozart is tired of being Mozart, he wants to be Wolfgang and hang out with his mates. He gets a child and convinces them to put on a wig and button and then falls in love with his own music. But by the time we finish it could be about mars and echidnas – art is like that.

What do you imagine audiences will see on stage?
Mozart. The music. We are planning a lot of gags, some nifty acrobatics, and some circus delights.

What kind of experience do you hope the audience will have?
I want them energised and amazed.

What are the themes of the piece and what messages are the audience going to take away?
I see this as a defence of culture – in two directions; from those who don’t care about it and from those who think it’s theirs and there is only one way to experience it. I am planning for a creation that argues the best way to preserve culture is to make it live, and circus is us at our most alive and present and dangerous. And Mozart is not just part of our cultural legacy – he has great music that you can dance, thump, giggle and cry along to.

In what ways might the piece cross art-form boundaries / genres? (e.g. does it include music, visual art, projection, audience participation)
It mixes circus and classical music. There will be audience participation. And wigs. And powder.

What makes you excited about the show and why do you think people should see it?
At its heart it is about an energy. You feel it in Mozart. It’s smart, alive, vibrant. And I want to get that on stage and let everyone enjoy it.

Wolfgang receives its world premiere at the Logan Entertainment Centre in July, before travelling to the Gold Coast, Wyong, and beyond. For our friends in London, the show will perform at the Barbican Centre in December, and we have a few more surprises up our sleeves for seasons elsewhere!

Keep up to date with the Wolfgang performance dates and Circa shows near you on our touring page at, and keep in the loop about what’s going on at Circa by joining our mailing list, visiting our Facebook and following us on Instagram. Wolfgang is a commission by The Art House Wyong.

Circa is based in Meanjin (Brisbane) on the lands of the Jagera and Turrbal people. We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the many lands on which we create and perform. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Always was. Always will be.