Mozart in the Jungle, by Candlelight 

All weekend I’ve looked forward to this evening. I anticipated lighting all the Christmas candles for the first time…and slowly savoring a hot cup of tea while catching the first episode of season three of Mozart in the Jungle. Savor is the perfect word, actually, for enjoying this wonderfully clever and creative Amazon Prime original series.   

Amazon released all ten episodes for season three on Friday. Those who like to binge watch can view the whole season at once if they choose. And those who prefer to linger over each 30 minute episode, making the season last longer by watching an episode every seven to ten days, can do that. I fall into the latter category. I love knowing there are ten delightful episodes sitting there waiting for me. I enjoy the anticipation of wondering what happens next. And delaying the gratification of finding out!

I discovered Mozart in the Jungle in January of this year. There were two seasons to catch up on, and I was captivated immediately with the first episode of season one. Maestro Rodrigo, charmingly played by Gael Garcia Bernal, is a brash, young, brilliant conductor, who arrives in New York City to take over the faltering symphony orchestra. Hailey, played by Lola Kirke, is a talented oboist hoping for her first big break. While she hons her skills, she works as the maestro’s assistant. 

There is a large ensemble cast that includes Bernadette Peters, Saffron Burrows, Malcolm McDowell and Dermot Mulroney. The first two seasons chronicle the struggles that Rodrigo has as he attempts to bring together an oft times disharmonious group of gifted musicians, to create a harmonious family that can blend their personalities as well as their various instruments. When they can all set aside their egos and get out of their heads, the music they play calls forth “the blood”, as Rodrigo describes it. 

Season two ended with disagreements and salary disputes between management and musicians, and an orchestra that was not playing. The musicians go their separate ways while negotiations are hammered out. 

Season three’s premier, “La Fiamma”, opens with Rodrigo in beautiful Venice, Italy. He has arrived to conduct the grand return performance of reclusive opera diva, Alessandra, played by the gorgeous Monica Bellucci. Hailey also arrives in Venice, a member of the Andrew Walsh Ensemble, a role that is short lived for her. At the end of the episode, Rodrigo, Alessandra and Hailey are sharing an anciet house in one of the most romantic cities on earth. 

Ahhhh. I love this series. Described as a comedy-drama, I appreciate the show for so much more than the comedic elements. I watch because it touches my heart and expands my soul. Rodrigo is child-like in his wonder of the world and a musical genius. He talks to Mozart. He has little regard for rules and establishment and society. He lives for the music that feeds his soul and makes his heart race. 

The music is why I keep returning for more Mozart in the Jungle. I watched tonight as Rodrigo’s eyes filled with tears, while he listened to Alessandra sing Ave Maria…and my eyes grew misty as well. The music within this series, the people who live and breathe it, Rodrigo chief among them, draw me, inspire me and make me sigh with the aching beauty of it all. 

Flickering candlelight and twinkling white Christmas lights, hot Scottish tea, healthy brownie bites and a snuggly throw created the perfect ambience for watching an amazingly fresh and creative show. I’ve savored the first episode of the new season, and seen a hint of what’s to come. I’ve had a taste…and I’m satisfied…for a few days, at least. Oh, the delicious anticipation… 

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