'Mozart in the Jungle': Producer, Cast Tease Dramatic Season 2

The classical music dramedy will return on Amazon Prime Instant Video in January.
Courtesy of Amazon Studios
'Mozart in the Jungle'

Mozart in the Jungle is ramping up the drama.

The Amazon series, which returns in January, will further explore the interworkings of the classical music world in its upcoming season.

Based on Blair Tindall’s memoir, Mozart In the Jungle: Sex, Drugs & Classical Music, the series follows a group of musicians inside a New York symphony orchestra. Co-created by Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola and Alex Timbers, it stars Gael Garcia Bernal (Rodrigo), Malcolm McDowell (Thomas), Bernadette Peters (Gloria), Lola Kirke (Hailey) and Saffron Burrows (Cynthia).

The cast was on hand (via satellite) Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour, along with executive producer Paul Weitz, to discuss the upcoming season of the series, which will continue to build on the tension developed in the first season.

"One big theme [in season 2] is how do you keep a really separate family together under all sorts of stresses?" said Weitz, noting that he was inspired by one of his mother’s oldest friends who has been a long-time member of the New York Philharmonic. "It struck me as an interesting thing that you’d have people playing next to each other for twenty years, and for a while they might get along and for a while they might not be talking with each another. As with many big families, everybody has a different point of view."

He hinted that there will be imminent changes in the orchestra that will shake up the characters’ worlds — and some will be more accepting of it than others. "There is a labor dispute happening, and as in these cases, some people are firebrands and some people don’t want to rock the boat."

"One of the sources of drama is whether they are actually going to be able to continue working or if they are going to be hit by this freight train that is this labor stoppage," said Weitz, who pointed out that he was influenced by a strike that essentially decimated the Minnesota orchestra a few years ago.

For their part, the cast has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the classical music community. "I’ve been getting a lot of response from friends who are melomaniacs, and they were the ones that came out finally and said, 'Now we can talk about this stuff.' I reached another level of friendship with those friends," said Bernal, adding: "It is really interesting how there is a very captive, complex symphonic music world out there, and they are very curious to see the show because they see an inside into something they know and they suspect it’s what it is."

Being a part of the series has allowed the cast to develop more of an appreciation for classical music. Burrows continues to be awestruck by the precision of the industry. "The degree of rigor with this world is really nothing I’ve known," she acknowledged. "It’s a fine, high art form."

Season two of Mozart in the Jungle will premiere January 2016.