Monday, January 18, 2010

Amadeus: quotes and questions

1. Italian court music adviser in Vienna on an opera by the young Mozart: "A young man trying to impress beyond his abilities."

2. Vienna Court music adviser on Mozart writing an opera on the Muslim Sultan's harem: "Do you really think that subject is quite appropriate for a national theatre?"

3. Viennese opera singer gossip: "My hairdresser said that everything this year is going to be Turkish."

4. The music-loving if unimaginative Austrian Emperor Joseph to Mozart on his opera: "My dear fellow, there are in fact only so many notes an ear can hear in the course of an evening."

5. The Archbishop-Prince of Salzburg to Leopold Mozart about his son, Wolfgang: "Your son is an unprincipled, spoiled, conceited brat!"

6. The Emperor's chamberlain to the arrogant Mozart: "You're not the only composer in Vienna."

7. Salieri to Mozart on the ability of the emperor to evaluate Mozart's latest opera: "The poor man can't concentrate for more than an hour. You gave him four."

8. When the Emperor and his advisors are first discussing Mozart, the Emperor recalls a childhood memory in which his sister was proposed to by a six year-old Mozart. Who was Emperor Joseph's sister? Marie Antoinette, eventually sent to France to become queen.

9. A maid is sent to Mozart's home to perform housekeeping duties at the bequest of an anonymous donor. Who sent her? Salieri.

10. Salieri's father on the Mozart family's musical life: "Would you like me to drag you around Europe, doing tricks like a circus freak?"