Amadeus Glossary

Requiem (death mass)

A musical composition performed at a funeral to honor the deceased. Salieri commissions Mozart to write a Requiem, and he plans on performing this Requiem at Mozart's funeral after killing Mozart.


In Mozart's time, the German word meant 'a music director in the emperor's court'. Kapellmeister Bonno works with Salieri and Count Orsini-Rosenberg to sabotage Mozart's operas.

Don Giovanni (the opera)

Don Giovanni chronicles a young man of the same name, whose womanizing ways eventually lead to his downfall. In the opera's first act, Don Giovanni tries to seduce a young woman, but the attempt is unsuccessful and results in the death of the young woman's father. Despite this incident, Don Giovanni does not learn his lesson, and he attempts to seduce many other women. At the end of the opera, a statue of the man he kills in the first act drags him to hell, and everyone, including his servant, Leporello, feels that he gets the end that he deserves.

The Magic Flute (the opera)

This was Mozart's last opera, which is essentially a fairytale with a happy ending. In the opera, the Queen of the Night sends a young man named Tamino on a quest to rescue her daughter, Pamina, from Sarastro's clutches. Upon encountering Sarastro, however, Tamino discovers that Sarastro is not the fiend that the Queen of the Night makes him out to be. In fact, Sarastro is very concerned with ensuring that Pamina ends up with someone of virtue. In the end, Tamino, through a series of tests, proves that he is a man of virtue; he ends up with Pamina, with Sarastro's blessing. Papageno, Tamino's sidekick on the quest, also has a happy ending: he ends up with a female partner named Papagena.

The Marriage of Figaro (the opera)

In the opera, a count tries to prevent marriage between his two servants, Figaro and Susanna. Various other factors get in the way of the two servants' marriage, but they gain a powerful ally along the way: the count's wife schemes with the servants to ensure that their marriage takes place. In the end, the two servants end up together, and the count is where he belongs: beside his wife, the countess.

The Abduction from the Seraglio (the opera)

In the opera, Belmonte travels to Turkey in order to rescue his beloved Konstanze, who was kidnapped in Spain by pirates and then sold in Turkey to a man named Pasha Selim. In Turkey, Belmonte finds allies in Blonde and Pedrillo, his two servants who were kidnapped alongside his beloved. Belmonte, Blonde, and Pedrillo attempt to rescue Konstanze, but they are caught. In the end, Belmonte, Konstanze, Blonde, and Pedrillo rely on Pasha Selim's mercy, and he surprises them at the last minute by granting them their freedom.

Axur, Re D'Ormus / Axur: King of Ormus (the opera)

The opera is loosely based on Pierre Augustin Beaumarchais' play, Tarare. The opera deals with the demise of King Axur, but it leaves out much of the play's politics.


This term refers to when a character narrates particular scenes. This character is either physically present in the film, or an unseen narrator. Old Salieri narrates his childhood.


The film is essentially Old Salieri recounting his childhood and his time at Emperor Joseph II's court.

Vienna (Late 18th Century)

In the late 18th century, the city of Vienna was a veritable Mecca for musicians. Old Salieri takes great pride in not only studying music in Vienna, but also continuing his career there. He and Emperor Joseph II had a great working relationship.


A work of art that is based off of another work of art. For example, a show can be adapted into a film, and vice versa. Milos Forman's film, Amadeus, was adapted from the Peter Schaeffer's play of the same name.


A protagonist who does not have traits typically associated with the role.

Director's Cut

It is the version of the film that the director sends to the studio. The studio then makes the final edits.

Final Cut

The final version of the film. It is the version of the film that the public sees.


It is a comedic form of imitation that involves a lot of exaggerations. Schikaneder creates a comedic show by exaggerating aspects of Mozart's serious opera, Don Giovanni. Parodies occur in other parts of Amadeus as well: for instance, at a party, Mozart parodies Salieri.


A moment of realization. Salieri has an epiphany after watching Don Giovanni: he deduces a way to destroy Mozart once and for all.


A long, uninterrupted speech by one character. Old Salieri delivers a few monologues over the course of the film.


A second film that follows after a first. It will involve either the same characters or the same themes as the first film -- or, if not, it will be in some way contiguous with the events of the first film.


The term for when the camera is close to an object or a character, and it picks up minute details on the object or the character. Mozart's deterioration is amplified by close-ups.

Deleted Scenes

Scenes that do not make the final cut of the film. The director's cut of Amadeus includes many deleted scenes.