In old age, Salieri attempts to kill himself; he fails, and ends up in an asylum. In the asylum, Father Vogler, a young priest, visits Salieri and encourages him to confess the thoughts tormenting him. In response to Father Vogler's pleas, Salieri begins a narrative in which he describes his involvement in Mozart's death, and the motives behind his actions.
He is the priest who hears Salieri's narrative. At the end of the narrative, he has a horrified look on his face, and he is completely speechless.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart is a genius, but an infantile man. He spends beyond his means, parties too much, and defies authoritative figures, including his father, Leopold. These negative traits all contribute to Mozart's downfall, but what truly hurts Mozart is his arrogance. His arrogance turns Salieri, who could have been a powerful ally, into an enemy. Mozart finds any and every opportunity to insult and humiliate Salieri. As a result, Salieri begins to see Mozart as an instrument that God uses to mock him. Salieri wonders why God gives a vulgar man like Mozart exceptional skills, yet makes him, a pious man, mediocre.
She is Mozart's wife. She loves Mozart, but she fails to reign in his spending and instead often participates in frivolities alongside him. She and Mozart's father, Leopold, do not get along when they meet. She finds Leopold to be too judgmental, especially since Leopold blames Mozart's messy household on her. Constanze also has a bad relationship with Salieri. The relationship sours over a trick Salieri plays on her: he tells her that he will consider Mozart's application to tutor the emperor's niece if she sleeps with him; yet when she visits him in the evening to perform the deed, he scolds her and has a servant kick her out.
Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, or Count Hieronymus Von Colloredo
He is Mozart's patron at the beginning of the film. Mozart's immaturity irritates him, especially when Mozart shows up late to a performance held at his residence. When Mozart decides to marry Constanze and stay in Vienna instead of returning to Salzburg, it is the last straw for the prince-archbishop, and he severs his ties with Mozart entirely.
Emperor Joseph II of Austria
He is a very influential figure when it comes to the success of an opera, despite not being a music connoisseur. Three yawns from him, and an opera shuts down on the same night on which it premieres. He commissions Mozart for work. One of the reasons behind this decision is to aggravate Prince-Archbishop Colloredo, who wants Mozart to leave Vienna and return to Salzburg. Throughout Mozart's stay in Vienna, the emperor lifts certain bans in order to give Mozart more artistic liberties. Despite these accommodations, Mozart still challenges him -- especially when he criticizes Mozart's opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, by saying that it has too many notes.
He is one of Emperor Joseph II's musical advisors, the director of the opera. He advises the emperor against both commissioning Mozart to create an opera and having that opera be composed in German, but the emperor goes against his suggestions. As the film progresses, Count Orsini-Rosenberg becomes Salieri's ally in his attempts to sabotage Mozart.
He is one of Emperor Joseph II's musical advisors. He sides with Count Orsini-Rosenberg on all issues. He also works with Salieri to sabotage Mozart's endeavors.
Baron Van Swieten
He is the imperial librarian for the emperor's court. Unlike Count Orsini-Rosenberg and Kapellmeister Bonno, he champions Mozart. He is one of the few people in attendance at Mozart's funeral.
Count Von Strack
He is the emperor's chamberlain. Although he has no hostilities towards Mozart, he does reprimand Mozart when Mozart complains about having to apply for the opportunity to teach the emperor's niece instead of automatically receiving the position.
She is an opera singer in Vienna, and is one of Salieri's students. Her role is minor, but her presence in the film contributes to Salieri's negative feelings towards Mozart. Although Salieri is chaste, he still lusts after Katherina, who does not know his feelings or return them. When Katherina stars in Mozart's German opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, and Salieri finds out that she also slept with Mozart, his desire for revenge against Mozart increases.
She is Mozart's mother-in-law. Before Mozart marries Constanze, Frau Weber is very keen on the match. After the marriage, her opinion of Mozart changes. She criticizes him for not providing a financially stable life for Constanze, and for the fact that he is an emotional and physical mess.
Mozart comes to tutor Schlumberg's daughter, but abruptly leaves Schlumberg's residence due to the presence of unruly dogs. Mozart visits Schlumberg again later in the film. He asks for another opportunity to teach Schlumberg's daughter, but Schlumberg informs Mozart that his daughter has married and no longer resides with him. Hearing this, Mozart begs for a loan, but Schlumberg denies this request and has a servant escort Mozart out.
He is Mozart's father. He begs Mozart to return to Salzburg, and he also tries to salvage Mozart's relationship with Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg. Both these ventures fail, and Leopold eventually dies after leaving Vienna and returning to Salzburg. His death devastates Mozart, and it becomes one of the many weapons that Salieri uses against Mozart.
She is a mysterious maidservant who knocks on the door of Mozart's residence and claims that a man who wishes to remain anonymous has hired her to provide services to Mozart's household. She tells Mozart, Constanze, and Leopold that everything has been paid for by the anonymous man, and that her services will therefore be free of charge to Mozart's household. Constanze is thrilled and wants to immediately welcome Lorl into Mozart's residence. Leopold, however, is appalled that Constanze would allow a maidservant without any references into the household. Leopold decides to leave Mozart's household and to go back to Salzburg after arguing with Constanze over whether or not to accept Lorl into the household. In the end, it turns out that Leopold had the better instinct: the anonymous man who hired Lorl is Salieri, and she acts as his spy once Constanze welcomes her into the household.
He is Mozart's son. Although he is a very minor character in the film, the scenes that he shares with Mozart are poignant: they show that Mozart is affectionate and kind towards his son, even through difficult times.
He is an actor who commissions Mozart to write an opera. This opera turns out to be The Magic Flute. Writing the opera is a difficult task for Mozart who is mentally and physically deteriorating, but Schikaneder does not care about Mozart's wellbeing. He puts a lot of pressure on Mozart to finish the opera.
Amadeus Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Amadeus is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.