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Berlin: Mozart Drama ‘Interlude in Prague’ to Star James Purefoy, Aneurin Barnard

BERLIN — A bevy of British talent is set to lead the cast in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart drama “Interlude in Prague,” including James Purefoy (“Solomon Kane,” “John Carter,” “Ironclad”), Aneurin Barnard (“The White Queen,” “The Truth About Emanuel,” “Ironclad”) and “Les Miserables” star Samantha Barks. London-based Carnaby will handle worldwide rights for the film, which will be presented to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market.

Directed by John Stephenson (“Animal Farm,” “Five Children and It”) with a screenplay by Brian Ashby, “Interlude in Prague” is produced by Productive International’s Huw Penallt Jones (“The Man Who Knew Infinity,” “The Edge of Love,” “Cold Mountain,” “Chaos”) along with Hannah Leader (“Lucky Number Slevin,” “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”) with cinematography by Michael Brewster (“Five Children and It,” “Animal Farm”), production design by Oscar winner Luciana Arrighi (“Only You,” “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” “Jakob the Liar”) and Hybrid’s Charlotte Truman joins principal crew as composer and music producer.

Set in Prague in 1787, the film is “an intense and emotional narrative of love, lust and murder.” Based on true-life events, it follows the story of a few turbulent months in the short life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that influenced the creation of the opera “Don Giovanni.”

A love story and a tragedy of epic proportions, the film sees Mozart in a “Shakespeare in Love”-style drama with a “Dangerous Liaisons”-style tragic end. The storyline follows a brief interlude in the composer’s colorful life during one of his several visits to Prague — the dates and locations are real but the plot is fictitious.

Tired of demonstrating his talents to a privileged elite, Mozart is brought to the Bohemian city by Baron Saloka, a vain and self-obsessed aristocrat, apparently above the law, who lives a privileged life. On his arrival, Mozart is happy to have found the one place on Earth where he feels his talent is appreciated and sets about creating a new opera at the Nostitz Theater. However, Mozart’s unconventional presence in Prague soon unleashes a series of dramatic and tragic events. Zuzanna Luptak, a young and beautiful soprano, is betrothed to Saloka but falls in love with Mozart, and they have a passionate affair. Saloka, a psychopath, sexual predator and serial rapist, develops an overwhelming hatred that results in callous brutality and murder. In a tangled web of passion and violence, the drama is captured by the magnificent music of “Don Giovanni.”

Producer Huw Penallt Jones said: “‘Interlude in Prague’ combines all the beauty of 18th-century Bohemia with the glory of Mozart’s music. Brian has written a powerful script and the passions, characters, heartbreak and tragic outcome are just as relevant to today’s contemporary audiences around the world. With John at the helm, it’s going to be a beautiful picture.”

Principal photography will begin in Prague in April.

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