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Matthieu Peterson

Antonio Salieri

Describe your acting journey...

I'm an introvert but found that I was comfortable playing someone else even if they are not one. I first played parts in skits and plays at church and at Scout campfires. Then I moved on to dramatic readings in grade school. I had loved "Grease" the film and especially Olivia Newton-John though I couldn't understand why she would want to change her look from the cute pony tail and sweater to a perm and leather jacket. Yep, I was too young to get it. I later saw the stage musical version of it at our local High School the year before I started there and this time, I was all for Sandy's transformation. 

I then auditioned for an "Aladdin" play long before Disney's version and I was cast as moving scenery i.e.By stretching out yards of cloth, we made ourselves into a road, a river, and even Aladdin's house. It also didn't hurt that the girl I was interested in was next to me. From then on, I was hooked! 

I have performed several times for Light Opera Works (now Music Theatre Works), Pegasus Players, Timber Lake Playhouse, Petite Opera Productions, and many suburban theatres in Illinois as well as theatres in Washington state and Minnesota.

Favorite roles include Pontius Pilate(Jesus Christ Superstar), Count Carl-Magnus(ALNM), Billy Bigelow(Carousel), Thomas McKean(1776), Lysander(AMND), Snoopy(Snoopy!!!), The Wolf(Into the Woods), Reverend Dupas(Little Murders), Saul Kimmer(True West), Captain Wilder(The Martian Chronicles) with narration by Ray Bradbury in Waukegan, and of course this one.  

Do you work primarily as a performer or do you have a ‘day job’?

If I could afford to, I would work solely as a performer. However, I can't. So I enjoy problem-solving during the day in IT for a Credit Union.

What do you list at the bottom of your résumé as your ‘additional skills’? 

Je parle français (I speak French) and I do Muppet voices.

What drew you to auditioning for Amadeus? 

Who doesn't love a revenge story with great music?

You play Antonio Salieri, Court Composer to Joseph II's Austrian Court. What do you find to be the biggest challenge in playing this role?

Salieri is telling his story through different points of his lifetime so he does not stay the same age for the whole show. He also is never lost for words so he has much to say.

What sort of person is going to love this show?  

Anyone who recognizes a little of themselves in Salieri. We've all felt unrecognized for something that we knew we had earned. We just hopefully didn't deal with that disappointment the way Salieri does.

Call someone out by name: who must come see this production? 

Musicians (or non-musicians). Wilco should come see this if they are in town.

What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show? 

How annoying Mozart was. (That's such a Salieri answer.)

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue? 

"It is only through hearing music that I know God exists."


"That's our job, we composers: to combine...the thoughts of chambermaids and court composers - and turn the audience into God."

What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage?

Check my zipper and my pockets.

Anything else you'd like to add?

It's amazing to realize that the people who were shunned and ridiculed as lunatics for their iconoclastic thinking in their own time, are the very same people we revere as innovators and geniuses today. While the ones who were successful by catering to the public's whims are often all but forgotten in our time. 

That being said, one must remember that this is a work of fiction.

If you listen to Antonio Salieri's compositions, (a good place to start is Cecilia Bartoli's "The Salieri Album"), you quickly realize that Salieri was an amazing composer! However he and his mentor, (Chevalier) Christoph Gluck embraced technique over (Chevalier) Wolfgang Mozart's more emotive style. Different methods but every bit as enjoyable to listen to.

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