Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.Ralph Waldo Emerson
- I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.
- While my father prayed earnestly to God to protect commerce, I would offer up secretly the proudest prayer a boy could think of: Lord, make me a great composer. Let me celebrate Your glory through music and be celebrated myself. Make me famous through the world, dear God. Make me immortal. After I die, let people speak my name forever with love for what I wrote. In return, I will give You my chastity, my industry, my deepest humility, every hour of my life, Amen.
- On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse - bassoons and basset horns - like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly - high above it - an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I'd never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing a voice of God.
- So rose the dreadful ghost from his next and blackest opera. There, on the stage, stood the figure of a dead commander. And I knew, only I understood that the horrifying apparition was Leopold raised from the dead! Wolfgang had summoned up his own father to accuse his son before all the world!
- That was Mozart. That! That giggling dirty-minded creature I had just seen, crawling on the floor!
- It's unbelievable, the director has actually torn up a huge section of my music. They say I have to rewrite the opera. But it's perfect as it is! I can't rewrite what's perfect!
- Forgive me, Majesty. I am a vulgar man! But I assure you, my music is not.
- Mozart: "Confutatis maledictis" - when the wicked are confounded. "Flammis Acribus Adictis." How would you translate that?
- Salieri: Consigned to flames of woe.
- Mozart: Do you believe in it?
- Salieri: What?
- Mozart: A fire which never dies, burning you forever?
- Salieri: Oh yes.
- Mozart: Why must I submit samples of my work to some stupid committee just to teach a thirteen-year-old girl?
- Count Von Strack: Because His Majesty wishes it.
- Mozart: Is the emperor angry with me?
- Count Von Strack: Quite the contrary.
- Mozart: Then why doesn't he simply appoint me to the post?
- Count Von Strack: Mozart, you are not the only composer in Vienna.
- Mozart: No. But I'm the best!
- Constanze Mozart: Stop it!
- Mozart: I am stopping it! Slowly. There? See? I've stopped. Now we're going back.
- Constanze Mozart: No!
- Mozart: Yes, yes! You don't know where you are! Here, everything goes backwards. People walk backwards, dance backwards, sing backwards, and even talk backwards.
- Constanze Mozart: That's stupid.
- Mozart: Why? People fart backwards.
- The Man... The Music... The Madness... The Murder... The Motion Picture...
- F. Murray Abraham - Antonio Salieri
- Tom Hulce - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Elizabeth Berridge - Constanze Mozart
- Roy Dotrice - Leopold Mozart
- Simon Callow - Emanuel Schikaneder / Papageno
- Christine Ebersole - Katerina Cavalieri / Costanza
- Jeffrey Jones - Emperor Joseph II