Probably the greatest genius in Western musical history, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salizburg, Austria on January 27th 1756. Wolfgang began composing at the age of 4, minuets at 5, and symphonies at 9. He was a violin virtuoso as well. Mozart composed his last three symphonies in less then seven weeks. His death on December 5th 1791, which gave rise to false rumors of poisoning, is thought to have resulted from rheumatic fever, a disease which he had suffered from repeatedly through his life. Mozart's music later inspired Haydn and Beethoven, and countless others.
Although Antonio Salieri is remembered chiefly for his rivalry with Mozart, there is little evidence of any animosity between the two composers. Born in Legnago, he studied with the Austrian composers Florian Gassmann and Christoph Willibald Gluck and became a court composer in Vienna. His works are primarily operas, church music, and cantatas; his students included The Hungarian Franz Liszt and the Austrian Franz Shubert.
An undocumented legend that murdered Mozart was the subject of an opera by the Russian Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, set to a drama by the Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin; it was also the subject of both the play and the film version of Amadeus written by British playwrite Peter Shaffer.
The original theatrical run of the play starred Ian McKellen as Salieri and Tim Curry
Contributed by: Sarah Dixon
Elizabeth Berridge, who played Amadeus' wife Constanze, also played Charlotte on the short-lived TV series "The Powers That Be", which was a spin-off from Cheers.
Contributed by: Mandy Ayland
The scene in the theatre is the real theatre where Don Giovanni was first performed.
Tom Hulce (Amadeus) provided the voice of the hunchback in Disney's hit "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". He later played the, want-to-get-rich-quick, schemer Larry in the movie "Parenthood".
Elizabeth Berridge (Constanze) also played Officer Eve Eggers on The John Larroquette Show.
Several real, or at least apocryphal, events from Mozart's life were incorporated into the screenplay, including the interlude between the child Mozart and Marie antoinette and the Emperor's comment that "Abducton from the Seraglio" had "too many notes."
Contributed by: DarthBubba
Amadeus features a very young Cynthia Nixon
from "Sex in the City" as a maid.
Contributed by: Kenneth Holmes
The original stage play of Amadeus was in 1979 at the National Theatre London. Salieri was played by Paul Scofield and Mozart by Simon Callow.
Contributed by: Sharlene Tupas
, who played the Emperor, also starred in Beetlejuice as the father of Winona Ryder. He also starred in "Howard the Duck
" as the evil galactic dark overlord.
Contributed by: Bryan Page
As per his autobiography, Kenneth Branagh had auditioned for, and thought he had won, the role of Mozart- but the American producers made a late decision to go with an American Actor, instead, choosing Tom Hulce, who also played Larry 'Pinto' Kroger from "Animal House".
Contributed by: Joe Williams
When the movie came out in 1984, I read an article in the newspaper about it. About 50 years after Mozart died, stories began to build based on events of his life and assumptions of others. As they were repeated they became included in scholarly works and thus accepted as the truth. First, the movie was named Amadeus because that was not his real name. He had three middle names, one of which was Gottfried, which means Beloved of God. This can be loosely translated as Amadeo, but never Amadeus. In Mozart's time, scholars used Latin to write, so as to have a common language. If you knew Latin, you were a member of the upper crust. Mozart loved his grandfather, whose name was Gottfried, so he would sign his name using Amadeo but his writing made it look like Amadeus. Second, he and Solieri got along just fine, the animosity was assumed later to explain the poisoning which also did not occur. Finally, the clergy appealed to the Duke of Austria to put an end to the fantastic funerals being held by the rich, each trying to outdo the last, so the Duke decreed that everyone who dies this week will be buried on Wednesday of the following week and to keep the ceremonies quiet and simple. This order was in effect when Mozart died. Years later when it was told that Mozart was buried the same day as others, it was translated to mean he was buried in the same grave with others, so he must have died a pauper. He was actually very well off. Recently I attended a lecture on music where the movie was cited as the source for the fact that Mozart died a pauper.
Contributed by: DarthBubba
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