"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"AMADEUS"

by

Peter Shaffer

Final Draft



INT. STAIRCASE OUTSIDE OLD SALIERI'S SALON - NIGHT - 1823

Total darkness. We hear an old man's voice, distinct and in
distress. It is OLD SALIERI. He uses a mixture of English
and occasionally Italian.

OLD SALIERI
Mozart! Mozart! Mozart. Forgive me!
Forgive your assassin! Mozart!

A faint light illuminates the screen. Flickeringly, we see
an eighteenth century balustrade and a flight of stone stairs.
We are looking down into the wall of the staircase from the
point of view of the landing. Up the stair is coming a
branched candlestick held by Salieri's VALET. By his side is
Salieri's COOK, bearing a large dish of sugared cakes and
biscuits. Both men are desperately worried: the Valet is
thin and middle-aged; the Cook, plump and Italian. It is
very cold. They wear shawls over their night-dresses and
clogs on their feet. They wheeze as they climb. The candles
throw their shadows up onto the peeling walls of the house,
which is evidently an old one and in bad decay. A cat scuttles
swiftly between their bare legs, as they reach the salon
door.

The Valet tries the handle. It is locked. Behind it the voice
goes on, rising in volume.

OLD SALIERI
Show some mercy! I beg you. I beg
you! Show mercy to a guilty man!

The Valet knocks gently on the door. The voice stops.

VALET
Open the door, Signore! Please! Be
good now! We've brought you something
special. Something you're going to
love.

Silence.

VALET
Signore Salieri! Open the door. Come
now. Be good!

The voice of Old Salieri continues again, further off now,
and louder. We hear a noise as if a window is being opened.

OLD SALIERI
Mozart! Mozart! I confess it! Listen!
I confess!

The two servants look at each other in alarm. Then the Valet
hands the candlestick to the Cook and takes a sugared cake
from the dish, scrambling as quickly as he can back down the
stairs.

EXT. THE STREET OUTSIDE SALIERI'S HOUSE - VIENNA - NIGHT

The street is filled with people: ten cabs with drivers,
five children, fifteen adults, two doormen, fifteen dancing
couples and a sled and three dogs. It is a windy night. Snow
is falling and whirling about. People are passing on foot,
holding their cloaks tightly around them. Some of them are
revelers in fancy dress: they wear masks on their faces or
hanging around their necks, as if returning from parties.
Now they are glancing up at the facade of the old house.
The window above the street is open and Old Salieri stands
there calling to the sky: a sharp-featured, white-haired
Italian over seventy years old, wearing a stained dressing
gown.

OLD SALIERI
Mozart! Mozart! I cannot bear it any
longer! I confess! I confess what I
did! I'm guilty! I killed you! Sir
I confess! I killed you!

The door of the house bursts open. The Valet hobbles out,
holding the sugared cake. The wind catches at his shawl.

OLD SALIERI
Mozart, perdonami! Forgive your
assassin! Pietą! Pietą! Forgive your
assassin! Forgive me! Forgive!
Forgive!

VALET
(looking up to the
window)
That's all right, Signore! He heard
you! He forgave you! He wants you to
go inside now and shut the window!

Old Salieri stares down at him. Some of the passersby have
now stopped and are watching this spectacle.

VALET
Come on, Signore! Look what I have
for you! I can't give it to you from
down here, can I?

Old Salieri looks at him in contempt. Then he turns away
back into the room, shutting the window with a bang. Through
the glass, the old man stares down at the group of onlookers
in the street. They stare back at him in confusion.

BYSTANDER
Who is that?

VALET
No one, sir. He'll be all right.
Poor man. He's a little unhappy, you
know.

He makes a sign indicating 'crazy,' and goes back inside the
house. The onlookers keep staring.

CUT TO:

INT. LANDING OUTSIDE OLD SALIERI'S SALON - NIGHT

The Cook is standing holding the candlestick in one hand,
the dish of cakes in the other. The Valet arrives, panting.

VALET
Did he open?

The Cook, scared, shakes his head: no. The Valet again knocks
on the door.

VALET
Here I am, Signore. Now open the
door.

He eats the sugared cake in his hand, elaborately and noisily.

VALET
Mmmm - this is good! This is the
most delicious thing I ever ate,
believe me! Signore, you don't know
what you're missing! Mmmm!

We hear a thump from inside the bedroom.

VALET
Now that's enough, Signore! Open!

We hear a terrible, throaty groaning.

VALET
If you don't open this door, we're
going to eat everything. There'll be
nothing left for you. And I'm not
going to bring you anything more.

He looks down. From under the door we see a trickle of blood
flowing. In horror, the two men stare at it. The dish of
cakes falls from the Cook's hand and shatters.

He sets the candlestick down on the floor. Both servants run
at the door frantically - once, twice, three times - and the
frail lock gives. The door flies open.

Immediately, the stormy, frenzied opening of Mozart's Symphony
No. 25 (the Little G Minor) begins. We see what the servants
see.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S SALON - NIGHT

Old Salieri lies on the floor in a pool of blood, an open
razor in his hand. He has cut his throat but is still alive.
He gestures at them. They run to him. Barely, we glimpse the
room - an old chair, old tables piled with books, a forte-
piano, a chamber-pot on the floor - as the Valet and the
Cook struggle to lift their old Master, and bind his bleeding
throat with a napkin.

INT. BALLROOM - NIGHT

Twenty-five dancing couples, fifty guests, ten servants,
full orchestra.

As the music slows a little, we see a Masquerade Ball in
progress. A crowded room of dancers is executing the slow
portion of a dance fashionable in the early 1820's.

EXT. STREET OUTSIDE SALIERI'S HOUSE - NIGHT

As the fast music returns, we see Old Salieri being carried
out of his house on a stretcher by two attendants, and placed
in a horse-drawn wagon under the supervision of a middle-
aged doctor in a tall hat. This is DOCTOR GULDEN. He gets in
beside his patient. The driver whips up the horse, and the
wagon dashes off through the still-falling snow.

MONTAGE:

EXT. FOUR STREETS OF VIENNA AND

INT. THE WAGON - NIGHT

The wagon is galloping through the snowy streets of the city.
Inside the conveyance we see Old Salieri wrapped in blankets,
half-conscious, being held by the hospital attendants. Doctor
Gulden stares at him grimly. The wagon arrives outside the
General Hospital of Vienna.

CUT TO:

INT. A HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - LATE AFTERNOON

A wide, white-washed corridor. Doctor Gulden is walking down
it with a priest, a man of about forty, concerned, but
somewhat self-important. This is Father VOGLER, Chaplain at
the hospital. In the corridor as they walk, we note several
patients -- some of them visibly disturbed mentally. All
patients wear white linen smocks. Doctor Gulden wears a dark
frock-coat; Vogler, a cassock.

DOCTOR GULDEN
He's going to live. It's much harder
to cut your throat than most people
imagine.

They stop outside a door.

DOCTOR GULDEN
Here we are. Do you wish me to come
in with you?

VOGLER
No, Doctor. Thank you.

Vogler nods and opens the door.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON

A bare room - one of the best available in the General
Hospital. It contains a bed, a table with candles, chairs, a
small forte-piano of the early nineteenth century. As Vogler
enters, Old Salieri is sitting in a wheel-chair, looking out
the window. His back is to us. The priest closes the door
quietly behind him.

VOGLER
Herr Salieri?

Old Salieri turns around to look at him. We see that his
throat is bandaged expertly. He wears hospital garb, and
over it the Civilian Medal and Chain with which we will later
see the EMPEROR invest him.

OLD SALIERI
What do you want?

VOGLER
I am Father Vogler. I am a Chaplain
here. I thought you might like to
talk to someone.

OLD SALIERI
About what?

VOGLER
You tried to take your life. You do
remember that, don't you?

OLD SALIERI
So?

VOGLER
In the sight of God that is a sin.

OLD SALIERI
What do you want?

VOGLER
Do you understand that you have
sinned? Gravely.

OLD SALIERI
Leave me alone.

VOGLER
I cannot leave alone a soul in pain.

OLD SALIERI
Do you know who I am? You never heard
of me, did you?

VOGLER
That makes no difference. All men
are equal in God's eyes.

OLD SALIERI
Are they?

VOGLER
Offer me your confession. I can offer
you God's forgiveness.

OLD SALIERI
I do not seek forgiveness.

VOGLER
My son, there is something dreadful
on your soul. Unburden it to me. I'm
here only for you. Please talk to
me.

OLD SALIERI
How well are you trained in music?

VOGLER
I know a little. I studied it in my
youth.

OLD SALIERI
Where?

VOGLER
Here in Vienna.

OLD SALIERI
Then you must know this.

He propels his wheelchair to the forte-piano, and plays an
unrecognizable melody.

VOGLER
I can't say I do. What is it?

OLD SALIERI
I'm surprised you don't know. It was
a very popular tune in its day. I
wrote it. How about this?

He plays another tune.

OLD SALIERI
This one brought down the house when
we played it first.

He plays it with growing enthusiasm.

CUT TO:

INT. THE STAGE OF AN OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

We see the pretty soprano KATHERINA CAVALIERI, now about
twenty-four, dressed in an elaborate mythological Persian
costume, singing on stage. She's near the end of a very florid
aria by Salieri. The audience applauds wildly.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON - 1823

OLD SALIERI
(taking his hands off
the keys)
Well?

VOGLER
I regret it is not too familiar.

OLD SALIERI
Can you recall no melody of mine? I
was the most famous composer in Europe
when you were still a boy. I wrote
forty operas alone. What about this
little thing?

Slyly he plays the opening measure of Mozart's Eine Kleine
Nachtmusik. The priest nods, smiling suddenly, and hums a
little with the music.

VOGLER
Oh, I know that! That's charming! I
didn't know you wrote that.

OLD SALIERI
I didn't. That was Mozart. Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart. You know who that
is?

VOGLER
Of course. The man you accuse yourself
of killing.

OLD SALIERI
Ah - you've heard that?

VOGLER
All Vienna has heard that.

OLD SALIERI
( eagerly)
And do they believe it?

VOGLER
Is it true?

OLD SALIERI
Do you believe it?

VOGLER
Should I?

A very long pause. Salieri stares above the priest, seemingly
lost in his own private world.

VOGLER
For God's sake, my son, if you have
anything to confess, do it now!
Give yourself some peace!

A further pause.

VOGLER
Do you hear me?

OLD SALIERI
He was murdered, Father! Mozart!
Cruelly murdered.

Pause.

VOGLER
(almost whispering)
Yes? Did you do it?

Suddenly Old Salieri turns to him, a look of extreme
innocence.

OLD SALIERI
He was my idol! I can't remember a
time when I didn't know his name!
When I was only fourteen he was
already famous. Even in Legnago -
the tiniest town in Italy - I knew
of him.

CUT TO:

EXT. A SMALL TOWN SQUARE IN LOMBARDY, ITALY - DAY - 1780'S

There are twelve children and twenty adults in the square.
We see the fourteen-year-old Salieri blindfolded, playing a
game of Blindman's Bluff with other Italian children, running
about in the bright sunshine and laughing.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
I was still playing childish games
when he was playing music for kings
and emperors. Even the Pope in Rome!

CUT TO:

INT. A SALON IN THE VATICAN - DAY - 1780'S

We see the six-year-old MOZART, also blindfolded, seated in
a gilded chair on a pile of books, playing the harpsichord
for the POPE and a suite of CARDINALS and other churchmen.
Beside the little boy stands LEOPOLD, his father, smirking
with pride.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
I admit I was jealous when I heard
the tales they told about him. Not
of the brilliant little prodigy
himself, but of his father, who had
taught him everything.

The piece finishes. Leopold lowers the lid of the harpsichord
and lifts up his little son to stand on it. Mozart removes
the blindfold to show a pale little face with staring eyes.
Both father and son bow. A Papal Chamberlain presents Leopold
with a gold snuff box whilst the cardinals decorously applaud.
Over this scene Old Salieri speaks.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
My father did not care for music. He
wanted me only to be a merchant,
like himself. As anonymous as he
was. When I told how I wished I could
be like Mozart, he would say, Why?
Do you want to be a trained monkey?
Would you like me to drag you around
Europe doing tricks like a circus
freak? How could I tell him what
music meant to me?

CUT TO:

EXT. A COUNTRY CHURCH IN NORTH ITALY - DAY - 1780'S

Serene music of the Italian Baroque - Pergolesi's Stabat
Mater - sung by a choir of boys with organ accompaniment.
We see the outside of the 17th-century church sitting in the
wide landscape of Lombardy: sunlit fields, a dusty, white
road, poplar trees.

INT. THE CHURCH AT LEGNAGO - DAY - 1780'S

The music continues and swells. We see the twelve-year-old
Salieri seated between his plump and placid parents in the
congregation, listening in rapture. His father is a heavy-
looking, self-approving man, obviously indifferent to the
music. A large and austere Christ on the cross hangs over
the altar. Candles burn below his image.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
Even then a spray of sounded notes
could make me dizzy, almost to
falling.

The boy falls forward on his knees. So do his parents and
the other members of the congregation. He stares up at Christ
who stares back at him.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
Whilst 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 vow I will
give you my chastity - my industry,
my deepest humility, every hour of
my life. And I will help my fellow
man all I can. Amen and amen!

The music swells to a crescendo. The candles flare. We see
the Christ through the flames looking at the boy benignly.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
And do you know what happened? A
miracle!

INT. DINING ROOM IN THE SALIERI HOUSE - DAY - 1780'S

CU, a large cooked fish on a thick china plate. Camera pulls
back to show the Salieri family at dinner. Father Salieri
sits at the head of the table, a napkin tucked into his chin.
Mother Salieri is serving the fish into portions and handing
them round. Two maiden aunts are in attendance, wearing black,
and of course the young boy. Father Salieri receives his
plate of fish and starts to eat greedily. Suddenly there is
a gasp - he starts to choke violently on a fish bone. All
the women get up and crowd around him, thumping and pummeling
him, but it is in vain. Father Salieri collapses.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON - 1823

OLD SALIERI
Suddenly he was dead. Just like that!
And my life changed forever. My mother
said, Go. Study music if you really
want to. Off with you! And off I
went as quick as I could and never
saw Italy again. Of course, I knew
God had arranged it all; that was
obvious. One moment I was a frustrated
boy in an obscure little town. The
next I was here, in Vienna, city of
musicians, sixteen years old and
studying under Gluck! Gluck, Father.
Do you know who he was? The greatest
composer of his time. And he loved
me! That was the wonder. He taught
me everything he knew. And when I
was ready, introduced me personally
to the Emperor! Emperor Joseph - the
musical king! Within a few years I
was his court composer. Wasn't that
incredible? Imperial Composer to His
Majesty! Actually the man had no ear
at all, but what did it matter? He
adored my music, that was enough.
Night after night I sat right next
to the Emperor of Austria, playing
duets with him, correcting the royal
sight-reading. Tell me, if you had
been me, wouldn't you have thought
God had accepted your vow? And believe
me, I honoured it. I was a model of
virtue. I kept my hands off women,
worked hours every day teaching
students, many of them for free,
sitting on endless committees to
help poor musicians - work and work
and work, that was all my life. And
it was wonderful! Everybody liked
me. I liked myself. I was the most
successful musician in Vienna. And
the happiest. Till he came. Mozart.

CUT TO:

INT. THE ARCHBISHOP OF SALZBURG'S RESIDENCE - VIENNA - DAY -
1780'S

A grand room crowded with guests. A small group of Gypsy
musicians is playing in the background. Thirteen members of
the Archbishop's orchestra - all wind players, complete with
18th-century wind instruments: elaborate-looking bassoons,
basset horns, etc. and wearing their employer's livery - are
laying out music on stands at one end of the room. At the
other end is a large gilded chair, bearing the arms of the
ARCHBISHOP OF SALZBURG. A throng of people is standing,
talking, and preparing to sit upon the rows of waiting chairs
to hear a concert.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
One day he came to Vienna to play
some of his music at the residence
of his employer, the Prince-Archbishop
of Salzburg. Eagerly I went there to
seek him out. That night changed my
life.

We see Salieri, age thirty-one, a neat, carefully turned-cut
man in decent black clothes and clean white linen, walking
through the crowd of guests. We follow him.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
As I went through the salon, I played
a game with myself. This man had
written his first concerto at the
age of four; his first symphony at
seven; a full-scale opera at twelve.
Did it show? Is talent like that
written on the face?

We see shots of assorted young men staring back at Salieri
as he moves through the crowd.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
Which one of them could he be?

Some of the men recognize Salieri and bow respectfully. Then
suddenly a servant bearing a large tray of cakes and pastries
stalks past. Instantly riveted by the sight of such delights,
Salieri follows him out of the Grand Salon.

INT. A PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780'S

The servant marches along bearing his tray of pastries aloft.
Salieri follows him.

The servant turns into:

INT. BUFFET ROOM IN THE PALACE - DAY - 1780'S

Salieri's POV: several tables, dressed to the floor with
cloths are loaded with many plates of confectionery. It is,
in fact, Salieri's idea of paradise! The servant puts his
tray down on one of the tables and withdraws from the room.

INT. A PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780'S

Salieri turns away so as not to be noticed by the servant.
As soon as the man disappears, Salieri sneaks into the buffet
room.

INT. BUFFET ROOM IN THE PALACE - DAY - 1780'S

Salieri enters the room and looks about him cautiously. He
is salivating with anticipation as he stares at the feast of
sweet things. His attention is attracted in particular by a
huge pile of dark chocolate balls arranged in the shape of a
pineapple. He reaches out a hand to steal one of the balls,
but at the same moment he hears giggling coming toward him.
He ducks down behind the pastry table.

A girl - CONSTANZE - rushes into the room. She runs straight
across it and hides herself behind one of the tables.

After a beat of total silence, MOZART runs into the room,
stops, and looks around. He is age twenty-six, wearing a
fine wig and a brilliant coat with the insignia of the
Archbishop of Salzburg upon it. He is puzzled; Constanze has
disappeared.

Baffled, he turns and is about to leave the room, when
Constanze suddenly squeaks from under the cloth like a tiny
mouse. Instantly Mozart drops to all fours and starts crawling
across the floor, meowing and hissing like a naughty cat.
Watched by an astonished Salieri, Mozart disappears under
the cloth and obviously pounces upon Constanze. We hear a
high-pitched giggle, which is going to characterize Mozart
throughout the film.

CUT TO:

INT. PALACE GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780'S

The throng is mostly seated. The musicians are in their
places, holding their various exotic-looking wind instruments;
the candles are all lit. A Majordomo appears and bangs his
staff on the floor for attention. Immediately COLLOREDO,
Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg enters. He is a small self-
important figure of fifty in a wig, surmounted by a scarlet
skullcap. He is followed by his Chamberlain, the Count ARCO.
Everyone stands. The Archbishop goes to his throne and sits.
His guests sit also. Arco gives the signal to start the music.
Nothing happens. Instead, a wind musician gets up, approaches
the Chamberlain and whispers in his ear. Arco in turn whispers
to the Archbishop.

ARCO
Mozart is not here.

COLLOREDO
Where is he?

ARCO
They're looking for him, Your Grace.

INT. A PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780'S

Three servants are opening doors and looking into rooms going
off the corridor.

CUT TO:

INT. PALACE GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780'S

The guests are turning around and looking at the Archbishop.
The musicians are watching. There is puzzlement and a murmur
of comment. The Archbishop tightens his lip.

COLLOREDO
(to Arco)
We'll start without him.

INT. PALACE BUFFET ROOM - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart is on his knees before the tablecloth, which reaches
to the floor. Under it is Constanze. We hear her giggling as
he talks.

MOZART
Miaouw! Miaouw! Mouse-wouse? It's
Puss-wuss, fangs-wangs. Paws-claws.
Pounce-bounce!

He grabs her ankle. She screams. He pulls her out by her
leg.

CONSTANZE
Stop it. Stop it!

They roll on the floor. He tickles her.

CONSTANZE
Stop it!

MOZART
I am! I am! I'm stopping it - slowly.
You see! Look, I've stopped. Now we
are going back.

He tries to drag her back under the table.

CONSTANZE
No! No! No!

MOZART
Yes! Back! Back! Listen - don't you
know where you are?

CONSTANZE
Where?

MOZART
We are in the Residence of the
Fartsbishop of Salzburg.

CONSTANZE
Fartsbishop!

She laughs delightedly, then addresses an imaginary
Archbishop.

CONSTANZE
Your Grace, I've got something to
tell you. I want to complain about
this man.

MOZART
Go ahead, tell him. Tell them all.
They won't understand you anyway.

CONSTANZE
Why not?

MOZART
Because here everything goes
backwards. People walk backwards,
dance backwards, sing backwards, and
talk backwards.

CONSTANZE
That's stupid.

MOZART
Why? People fart backwards.

CONSTANZE
Do you think that's funny?

MOZART
Yes, I think it's brilliant. You've
been doing it for years.

He gives a high pitched giggle.

CONSTANZE
Oh, ha, ha, ha.

MOZART
Sra-I'm-sick! Sra-I'm sick!

CONSTANZE
Yes, you are. You're very sick.

MOZART
No, no. Say it backwards, shit-wit.
Sra-I'm-sick Say it backwards!

CONSTANZE
(working it out)
Sra-I'm-sick. Sick - kiss I'm - my
Kiss my! Sra-I'm-sick - Kiss my arse!

MOZART
Em iram! Em iram!

CONSTANZE
No, I'm not playing this game.

MOZART
No, this is serious. Say it backwards.

CONSTANZE
No!

MOZART
Just say it - you'll see. It's very
serious. Em iram! Em iram!

CONSTANZE
Iram - marry Em - marry me! No, no!
You're a fiend. I'm not going to
marry a fiend. A dirty fiend at that.

MOZART
Ui-vol-i-tub!

CONSTANZE
Tub - but i-tub - but I vol - love
but I love ui - You. I love you!

The mood becomes suddenly softer. She kisses him. They
embrace. Then he spoils it.

MOZART
Tish-I'm tee. What's that?

CONSTANZE
What?

MOZART
Tish-I'm-tee.

CONSTANZE
Eat

MOZART
Yes.

CONSTANZE
Eat my - ah!

Shocked, she strikes at him. At the same moment the music
starts in the salon next door. We hear the opening of the
Serenade for Thirteen Wind Instruments, K.

MOZART
My music! They've started! They've
started without me!

He leaps up, disheveled and rumpled and runs out of the room.
Salieri watches in amazement and disgust.

CUT TO:

INT. PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780'S

The music is louder. Mozart hastens towards the Grand Salon
away from the buffet room, adjusting his dress as he goes.

INT. GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780'S

The opening of the Serenade is being tentatively conducted
by the leader of the wind-musicians. Guests turn around as
Mozart appears - bowing to the Archbishop - and walks with
an attempt at dignity to the dais where the wind band is
playing. The leader yields his place to the composer and
Mozart smoothly takes over conducting.

Constanze, deeply embarrassed, sneaks into the room and seats
herself at the back.

INT. PALACE BUFFET ROOM - DAY - 1780'S

The music fades down. Salieri stands shocked from his
inadvertent eavesdropping. After a second he moves almost in
a trance toward the door; the music dissolves.

INT. GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart is conducting the Adagio from his Serenade (K. 361),
guiding the thirteen wind instrumentalists. The squeezebox
opening of the movement begins. Salieri appears at the door
at the back of the salon. He stares in disbelief at Mozart.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
So that was he! That giggling, dirty-
minded creature I'd just seen crawling
on the floor. Mozart. The phenomenon
whose legend had haunted my youth.
Impossible.

The music swells up and Salieri listens to it with eyes closed -
amazed, transported - suddenly engulfed by the sound. Finally
it fades down and away and changes into applause. Salieri
opens his eyes.

The audience is clearly delighted. Mozart bows to them, also
delighted. Colloredo rises abruptly, and without looking at
Mozart or applauding and leaves the Salon. Count Arco
approaches the composer. Mozart turns to him, radiant.

ARCO
Follow me, please. The Archbishop
would like a word.

MOZART
Certainly!

He follows Arco out of the room, through a throng of admirers.

INT. ANOTHER PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart and Arco walk side by side. They pass Salieri who is
staring at Mozart in fascination. As they disappear, he steals
toward the music stands, unable to help himself.

MOZART
Well, I think that went off remarkably
well, don't you?

ARCO
Indeed.

MOZART
These Viennese certainly know good
music when they hear it.

ARCO
His Grace is very angry with you.

MOZART
What do you mean?

They arrive at the door of Colloredo's private apartment.

ARCO
You are to come in here and ask his
pardon.

Arco opens the door.

INT. ARCHBISHOP'S PRIVATE ROOM - DAY - 1780'S

The Archbishop is sitting, chatting to quests. Among them
are several ladies. Arco approaches him obsequiously.

ARCO
Your Grace.

COLLOREDO
Ah, Mozart. Why?

MOZART
Why what, sir?

COLLOREDO
Why do I have to be humiliated in
front of my guests by one of my own
servants?

MOZART
Humiliated?

COLLOREDO
How much provocation am I to endure
from you? The more license I allow
you, the more you take.

The company watches this scene, deeply interested.

MOZART
If His Grace is not satisfied with
me, he can dismiss me.

COLLOREDO
I wish you to return immediately to
Salzburg. Your father is waiting for
you there patiently. I will speak to
you further when I come.

MOZART
No, Your Grace! I mean with all
humility, no. I would rather you
dismissed me. It's obvious I don't
satisfy.

COLLOREDO
Then try harder, Mozart. I have no
intention of dismissing you. You
will remain in my service and learn
your place. Go now.

He extends his hand to be kissed. Mozart does it with a
furious grace, then leaves the room. As he opens the door we
see:

INT. PALACE CORRIDOR - DAY - 1780'S

A group of people who have attended the concert, among them
Constanze, are standing outside the private apartment. At
sight of the composer they break into sustained applause.
Mozart is suddenly delighted. He throws the door wide open

so that the guests can see into the private apartment where
the Archbishop sits - and he can see them. Colloredo is
clearly discomfited by this reception of his employee. He
smiles and bows uneasily, as they include him in the small
ovation.

Mozart stands in the corridor, out of the Archbishop's line
of sight, bowing and giggling, and encouraging the applause
for the Archbishop with conducting gestures. Suddenly
irritated, Colloredo signs to Arco, who steps forward and
shuts the door, ending the applause.

INT. PALACE GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780'S

Salieri, in this vast room, is standing and looking at the
full score of the Serenade. He turns the pages back to the
slow movement. Instantly, we again hear its lyrical strains.

CU, Salieri, reading the score of the Adagio in helpless
fascination. The music is played against his description of
it.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
Extraordinary! 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.

Suddenly the music snaps off. Mozart stands before him as he
lays down the score.

MOZART
Excuse me!

He takes the score, bows, and struts briskly out of the room.
Salieri stares uncomprehendingly after the jaunty little
figure.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
But why?

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

OLD SALIERI
Why? Would God choose an obscene
child to be His instrument? It was
not to be believed! This piece had
to be an accident. It had to be!

INT. PALACE DINING ROOM - DAY - 1780'S

At the table sits the EMPEROR JOSEPH II, eating his frugal
dinner and sipping goat's milk. He is an intelligent, dapper
man of forty, wearing a military uniform. Around him but
standing, are his Chamberlain, JOHANN VON STRACK: stiff and
highly correct. COUNT ORSINI-ROSENBERG: a corpulent man of
sixty, highly conscious of his position as Director of the
Opera. BARON VON SWIETEN, the Imperial Librarian: a grave
but kindly and educated man in his mid-fifties. FIRST
KAPELLMEISTER GIUSEPPE BONNO: very Italian, cringing and
time-serving, aged about seventy. And Salieri, wearing
decorous black, as usual.

At a side-table, two Imperial secretaries, using quill pens
and inkstands, write down everything of importance that is
said.

JOSEPH
How good is he, this Mozart?

VON SWIETEN
He's remarkable, Majesty. I heard an
extraordinary serious opera of his
last month. Idomeneo, King of Crete.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
That? A most tiresome piece. I heard
it, too.

VON SWIETEN
Tiresome?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
A young man trying to impress beyond
his abilities. Too much spice. Too
many notes.

VON SWIETEN
Majesty, I thought it the most
promising work I've heard in years.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha. Well then, we should make
some effort to acquire him. We could
use a good German composer in Vienna,
surely?

VON STRACK
I agree, Majesty, but I'm afraid
it's not possible. The young man is
still in the pay of the Archbishop.

JOSEPH
Very small pay, I imagine. I'm sure
he could be tempted with the right
offer. Say, an opera in German for
our National Theatre.

VON SWIETEN
Excellent, sire!

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
But not German, I beg your Majesty!
Italian is the proper language for
opera. All educated people agree on
that.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha. What do you say, Chamberlain?

VON STRACK
In my opinion, it is time we had a
piece in our own language, sir. Plain
German. For plain people.

He looks defiantly at Orsini-Rosenberg.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha. Kapellmeister?

BONNO
(Italian accent)
Majesty, I must agree with Herr
Dirretore. Opera is an Italian art,
solamente. German is - scusate - too
bruta for singing, too rough.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha. Court Composer, what do you
say?

SALIERI
I think it is an interesting notion
to keep Mozart in Vienna, Majesty.
It should really infuriate the
Archbishop beyond measure - if that
is your Majesty's intention.

JOSEPH
You are cattivo, Court Composer.
(briskly, to Von Strack)
I want to meet this young man.
Chamberlain, arrange a pleasant
welcome for him.

VON STRACK
Yes, sir.

JOSEPH
Well. There it is.

INT. BEDROOM IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - DAY - 1780'S

A somber room which serves both as a bedroom and a study.
We see a four-poster bed. Also, a marble mantelpiece above
which hangs a handsome cross in olivewood, bearing the figure
of a severe Christ. Opposite this image sits Salieri at his
desk, on which stands a pile of music paper, quill pens and
ink. On one side of him is an open forte-piano on which he
occasionally tries notes from the march he is composing,
with some difficulty. He scratches notes out with his quill,
and ruffles his hair - which we see without a powdered wig.
There is a knock at the door.

SALIERI
Si.

A servant admits LORL, a young lower-class girl, who appears
carrying a basket in which is a box covered with a napkin.
She has just come from the baker's shop.

SALIERI
Ah! Here she comes. Fraulein Lorl,
good morning.

LORL
Good morning, sir.

SALIERI
What have you got for me today? Let
me see.

Greedily he unwraps the napkin and lifts the lid on the box.

SALIERI
Ah-ha! Siena macaroons - my
favourites. Give my best thanks to
the baker.

LORL
I will, sir.

He takes a biscuit and eats.

SALIERI
Thank you. Are you well today,
Fraulein Lorl?

LORL
Yes, thank you, sir.

SALIERI
Bene! Bene!

She gives a little curtsey, flattered and giggling and is
shown out. Salieri turns back to his work, chewing. He plays
through a complete line of the march. He smiles, pleased
with the result.

SALIERI
Grazie, Signore.

He inclines his head to the Christ above the fireplace, and
starts to play the whole march, including the phrase which
pleased him.

INT. A WIGMAKER'S SHOP - VIENNA - DAY - 1780'S

The march continues on the forte-piano as we see Mozart,
seated in front of a mirror, wearing an extravagant wig. On
either side of him stands a SALESMAN, one of them holding
another wig, equally extravagant. Mozart takes off the first
wig, to reveal his own blonde hair, of which he is extremely
proud, and hands it back.

MOZART
And the other one?

The Salesman puts the second wig on his head. Mozart pulls a
face of doubt in the mirror.

MOZART
And the other one?

He takes it off and the other Salesman replaces it with the
first wig on his head.

MOZART
Oh, they're both so beautiful, I
can't decide. Why don't I have two
heads?

He giggles. The music stops.

INT. GRAND SALON - THE ROYAL PALACE - DAY - 1780'S

A door opens. We glimpse in the next room the Emperor Joseph
bidding goodbye to a group of military officers standing
around a table.

JOSEPH
Good, good, good.

He turns and comes into the salon, where another group awaits
him. It consists of Von Strack, Orsini-Rosenberg, Bonno, Von
Swieten and Salieri. The room contains several gilded chairs
dotted about, and a forte-piano.

JOSEPH
Good morning, gentlemen.

All bow and say, Good morning, Your Majesty!

JOSEPH
(to Von Strack)
Well, what do you have for me today?

VON STRACK
Your Majesty, Herr Mozart -

JOSEPH
Yes, what about him?

VON STRACK
He's here.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha. Well. There it is. Good.

SALIERI
Majesty, I hope you won't think it
improper, but I have written a little
March of Welcome in his honour.

He produces a paper.

JOSEPH
What a charming idea. May I see?

SALIERI
(handing it over)
It's just a trifle, of course.

JOSEPH
May I try it?

SALIERI
Majesty.

The Emperor goes to the instrument, sits and plays the first
bars of it. Quite well.

JOSEPH
Delightful, Court Composer. Would
you permit me to play it as he comes
in?

SALIERI
You do me too much honour, Sire.

JOSEPH
Let's have some fun.
(to the waiting
Majordomo)
Bring in Herr Mozart, please. But
slowly, slowly. I need a minute to
practice.

The Majordomo bows and goes. The Emperor addresses himself
to the march. He plays a wrong note.

SALIERI
A-flat, Majesty.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha!

INT. PALACE CORRIDOR - VIENNA - DAY - 1780'S

Taking his instructions literally, the Majordomo is marching
very slowly toward the salon door. He is followed by a
bewildered Mozart, dressed very stylishly and wearing one of
the wigs from the perruqier.

INT. ROYAL PALACE GRAND SALON - DAY - 1780'S

Joseph finishes the march. The door opens.

MAJORDOMO
Herr Mozart.

Mozart comes in eagerly. Immediately the march begins, played
by His Majesty. All the courtiers stand, listening with
admiration. Joseph plays well, but applies himself fiercely
to the manuscript. Mozart, still bewildered, regards the
scene, but does not seem to pay attention to the music itself.
It finishes and all clap obsequiously.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Bravo, Your Majesty!

VON STRACK
Well done, Sire!

The Emperor rises, pleased with himself. He snatches the
manuscript off the stand and holds it in his hand for the
rest of the scene.

JOSEPH
Gentlemen, gentlemen, a little less
enthusiasm, I beg you. Ah, Mozart.

He extends his hand. Mozart throws himself to his knees, and
to Joseph's discomfort kisses the royal hand with fervour.

MOZART
Your Majesty!

JOSEPH
No, no, please! It is not a holy
relic.
(raising Mozart up)
You know we have met already? In
this very room. Perhaps you won't
remember it, you were only six years
old.
(to the others)
He was giving the most brilliant
little concert here. As he got off
the stool, he slipped and fell. My
sister Antoinette helped him up
herself, and do you know what he
did? Jumped straight into her arms
and said, Will you marry me, yes or
no?

Embarrassed, Mozart bursts into a wild giggle. Joseph helps
him out.

JOSEPH
You know all these gentlemen, I'm
sure.

Von Strack and Bonno nod.

JOSEPH
The Baron Von Swieten.

VON SWIETEN
I'm a great admirer of yours, young
man. Welcome.

MOZART
Oh, thank you.

JOSEPH
The Director of our Opera. Count
Orsini-Rosenberg.

MOZART
(bowing excitedly)
Oh sir, yes! The honour is mine.
Absolutely.

Orsini-Rosenberg nods without enthusiasm.

JOSEPH
And here is our illustrious Court
Composer, Herr Salieri.

SALIERI
(taking his hand)
Finally! Such an immense joy. Diletto
straordinario!

MOZART
I know your work well, Signore. Do
you know I actually composed some
variations on a melody of yours?

SALIERI
Really?

MOZART
Mio caro Adone.

SALIERI
Ah!

MOZART
A funny little tune, but it yielded
some good things.

JOSEPH
And now he has returned the
compliment. Herr Salieri composed
that March of Welcome for you.

MOZART
(speaking expertly)
Really? Oh, grazie, Signore! Sono
commosso! E un onore per mo
eccezionale. Compositore brilliante
e famossissimo!

He bows elaborately. Salieri inclines himself, dryly.

SALIERI
My pleasure.

JOSEPH
Well, there it is. Now to business.
Young man, we are going to commission
an opera from you. What do you say?

MOZART
Majesty!

JOSEPH
(to the courtiers)
Did we vote in the end for German or
Italian?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Well, actually, Sire, if you remember,
we did finally incline to Italian.

VON STRACK
Did we?

VON SWIETEN
I don't think it was really decided,
Director.

MOZART
Oh, German! German! Please let it be
German.

JOSEPH
Why so?

MOZART
Because I've already found the most
wonderful libretto!

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Oh? Have I seen it?

MOZART
I - I don't think you have, Herr
Director. Not yet. I mean, it's quite
n - Of course, I'll show it to you
immediately.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
I think you'd better.

JOSEPH
Well, what is it about? Tell us the
story.

MOZART
It's actually quite amusing, Majesty.
It's set - the whole thing is set
in a - in a -

He stops short with a little giggle.

JOSEPH
Yes, where?

MOZART
In a Pasha's Harem, Majesty. A
Seraglio.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
You mean in Turkey?

MOZART
Exactly.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Then why especially does it have to
be in German?

MOZART
Well not especially. It can be in
Turkish, if you really want. I don't
care.

He giggles again. Orsini-Rosenberg looks at him sourly.

VON SWIETEN
(kindly)
My dear fellow, the language is not
finally the point. Do you really
think that subject is quite
appropriate for a national theatre?

MOZART
Why not? It's charming. I mean, I
don't actually show concubines
exposing their! their! It's not
indecent!
(to Joseph)
It's highly moral, Majesty. It's
full of proper German virtues. I
swear it. Absolutely!

JOSEPH
Well, I'm glad to hear that.

SALIERI
Excuse me, Sire, but what do you
think these could be? Being a
foreigner, I would love to learn.

JOSEPH
Cattivo again, Court Composer. Well,
tell him, Mozart. Name us a German
virtue.

MOZART
Love, Sire!

SALIERI
Ah, love! Well of course in Italy we
know nothing about that.

The Italian faction - Orsini-Rosenberg and Bonno - laugh
discreetly.

MOZART
No, I don't think you do. I mean
watching Italian opera, all those
male sopranos screeching. Stupid fat
couples rolling their eyes about!
That's not love - it's just rubbish.

An embarrassed pause. Bonno giggles in nervous amusement.

MOZART
Majesty, you choose the language. It
will be my task to set it to the
finest music ever offered a monarch.

Pause. Joseph is clearly pleased.

JOSEPH
Well, there it is. Let it be German.

He nods - he has wanted this result all the time. He turns
and makes for the door. All bow. Then he becomes aware of
the manuscript in his hand.

JOSEPH
Ah, this is yours.

Mozart does not take it.

MOZART
Keep it, Sire, if you want to. It is
already here in my head.

JOSEPH
What? On one hearing only?

MOZART
I think so, Sire, yes.

Pause.

JOSEPH
Show me.

Mozart bows and hands the manuscript back to the Emperor.
Then he goes to the forte-piano and seats himself. The others,
except for Salieri, gather around the manuscript held by the
King. Mozart plays the first half of the march with deadly
accuracy.

MOZART
(to Salieri)
The rest is just the same, isn't it?

He plays the first half again but stops in the middle of a
phrase, which he repeats dubiously.

MOZART
That really doesn't work, does it?

All the courtiers look at Salieri.

MOZART
Did you try this? Wouldn't it be
just a little more -?

He plays another phrase.

MOZART
Or this - yes, this! Better.

He plays another phrase. Gradually, he alters the music so
that it turns into the celebrated march to be used later in
The Marriage of Figaro, Non Piu Andrai. He plays it with
increasing abandon and virtuosity. Salieri watches with a
fixed smile on his face. The court watches, astonished. He
finishes in great glory, takes his hands off the keys with a
gesture of triumph - and grins.

INT. BEDROOM IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - DAY - 1780'S

We see the olivewood cross. Salieri is sitting at his desk,
staring at it.

SALIERI
Grazie, Signore.

There is a knock at the door. He does not hear it, but sits
on. Another knock, louder.

SALIERI
Yes?

Lorl comes in.

LORL
Madame Cavalieri is here for her
lesson, sir.

SALIERI
Bene.

He gets up and enters:

INT. MUSIC ROOM IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - DAY - 1780'S

KATHERINA CAVALIERI, a young, high-spirited soprano of twenty
is waiting for him, dressed in a fashionable dress and wearing
on her head an exotic turban of satin, with a feather. Lorl
exits.

CAVALIERI
(curtseying to him)
Maestro.

SALIERI
Good morning.

CAVALIERI
(posing, in her turban)
Well? How do you like it? It's
Turkish. My hairdresser tells me
everything's going to be Turkish
this year!

SALIERI
Really? What else did he tell you
today? Give me some gossip.

CAVALIERI
Well, I heard you met Herr Mozart.

SALIERI
Oh? News travels fast in Vienna.

CAVALIERI
And he's been commissioned to write
an opera. Is it true?

SALIERI
Yes.

CAVALIERI
Is there a part for me?

SALIERI
No.

CAVALIERI
How do you know?

SALIERI
Well even if there is, I don't think
you want to get involved with this
one.

CAVALIERI
Why not?

SALIERI
Well, do you know where it's set, my
dear?

CAVALIERI
Where?

SALIERI
In a harem.

CAVALIERI
What's that?

SALIERI
A brothel.

CAVALIERI
Oh!

SALIERI
A Turkish brothel.

CAVALIERI
Turkish? Oh, if it's Turkish, that's
different. I want to be in it.

SALIERI
My dear, it will hardly enhance your
reputation to be celebrated throughout
Vienna as a singing prostitute for a
Turk.

He seats himself at the forte-piano.

CAVALIERI
Oh. Well perhaps you could introduce
us anyway.

SALIERI
Perhaps.

He plays a chord. She sings a scale, expertly. He strikes
another chord. She starts another scale, then breaks off.

CAVALIERI
What does he look like?

SALIERI
You might be disappointed.

CAVALIERI
Why?

SALIERI
Looks and talent don't always go
together, Katherina.

CAVALIERI
(airily)
Looks don't concern me, Maestro.
Only talent interests a woman of
taste.

He strikes the chord again, firmly. Cavalieri sings her next
scale, then another one, and another one, doing her exercises
in earnest. As she hits a sustained high note the orchestral
accompaniment in the middle of Martern Aller Arten from Il
Seraglio comes in underneath and the music changes from
exercises to the exceedingly florid aria.

We DISSOLVE on the singer's face, and she is suddenly not
merely turbaned, but painted and dressed totally in a Turkish
manner, and we are on:

INT. OPERA STAGE - VIENNA - 1780'S

The heroine of the opera (Cavalieri) is in full cry addressing
the Pasha with scorn and defiance.

The house is full. Watching the performance - which is
conducted by Mozart from the clavier in the midst of the
orchestra - we note Von Strack, Orsini-Rosenberg, Bonno and
Von Swieten, all grouped around the Emperor, in a box.

In another box we see an overdressed, middle-aged woman and
three girls, one of whom is Constanze. This is the formidable
MADAME WEBER and her three daughters, Constanze, JOSEFA and
SOPHIE. All are enraptured by the spectacle and Madame Weber
is especially enraptured by being there at all. Not so,
Salieri, who sits in another box, coldly watching the stage.

Cavalieri is singing Martern aller Arten from the line Doch
du bist entschlossen.

CAVALIERI
Since you are determined, Since you
are determined, Calmly, with no
ferment, Welcome - every pain and
woe. Bind me then - compel me! Bind
me then - compel me! Hurt me. Break
me! Kill me! At last I shall be freed
by death!

After a few moments of this showy aria, with the composer
and the singer staring at each other - he conducting
elaborately for her benefit, and she following his beat with
rapturous eyes - the music fades, and Salieri speaks over
it.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
There she was. I had no idea where
they met - or how - yet there she
stood on stage for all to see. Showing
off like the greedy songbird she
was. Ten minutes of ghastly scales
and arpeggios, whizzing up and down
like fireworks at a fairground.

Music up again for the last 30 bars of the aria.

CAVALIERI
(singing)
Be freed at last by death! Be freed
at last by death! At last I shall be
freed By! Death!

Before the orchestral coda ends, cut to:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

Through the window we see that night has fallen.

OLD SALIERI
Understand, I was in love with the
girl. Or at least in lust. I wasn't
a saint. It took me the most
tremendous effort to be faithful to
my vow. I swear to you I never laid
a finger on her. All the same, I
couldn't bear to think of anyone
else touching her - least of all the
Creature.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. THE OPERA HOUSE - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780'S

The brilliant Turkish finale of Seraglio bursts over us.
All the cast is lined up on stage. Mozart is conducting with
happy excitement.

CAST OF SERAGLIO
(singing)
Pasha Selim May he Live forever!
Ever, ever, ever, ever! Honour to
his regal name! Honour to his regal
name! May his noble brow emblazon
Glory, fortune, joy and fame! Honour
be to Pasha Selim Honour to his regal
name! Honour to his regal name!

The curtains fall. Much applause. The Emperor claps vigorously
and - following his lead - so do the courtiers. The curtains
part. Mozart applauds the singers who applaud him back. He
skips up onto the stage amongst them. The curtains fall again
as they all bow. In the auditorium, the chandeliers descend,
filling it with light.

INT. OPERA HOUSE STAGE - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780'S

The curtains are down, and an excited hubbub of singers in
costume surround Mozart and Cavalieri, all excited and
chattering. Suddenly a hush. The Emperor is seen approaching
from the wings, lit by flunkies holding candles. Von Strack,
Orsini-Rosenberg and Von Swieten, amongst others, follow
him. Also Salieri. The singers line up. Joseph stops at
Cavalieri who makes a deep curtsey.

JOSEPH
Bravo, Madame. You are an ornament
to our stage.

CAVALIERI
Majesty.

JOSEPH
(to Salieri)
And to you, Court Composer. Your
pupil has done you great credit.

INT. BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780'S

MADAME WEBER
Let us pass, please! Let us pass at
once! We're with the Emperor.

FLUNKY
I am sorry, Madame. It is not
permitted.

MADAME WEBER
Do you know who I am?
(pointing to Constanze)
This is my daughter. I am Frau Weber.
We are favoured guests!

FLUNKY
I am sorry, Madame, but I have my
orders.

MADAME WEBER
Call Herr Mozart! You call Herr Mozart
immediately! This is insupportable!

CONSTANZE
Mother, please!

MADAME WEBER
Go ahead, Constanze. Just ignore
this fellow.
(pushing her)
Go ahead, dear!

FLUNKY
(barring the way)
I am sorry, Madame, but no! I cannot
let anyone pass.

MADAME WEBER
Young man, I am no stranger to
theatres. I'm no stranger to
insolence!

CUT BACK TO:

INT. OPERA HOUSE STAGE - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780'S

All are applauding Cavalieri. The Emperor turns to Mozart.

JOSEPH
Well, Herr Mozart! A good effort.
Decidedly that. An excellent effort!
You've shown us something quite new
today.

Mozart bows frantically: he is over-excited.

MOZART
It is new, it is, isn't it, Sire?

JOSEPH
Yes, indeed.

MOZART
And German?

JOSEPH
Oh, yes. Absolutely. German.
Unquestionably!

MOZART
So then you like it? You really like
it, Your Majesty?

JOSEPH
Of course I do. It's very good. Of
course now and then - just now and
then - it gets a touch elaborate.

MOZART
What do you mean, Sire?

JOSEPH
Well, I mean occasionally it seems
to have, how shall one say?
(he stops in
difficulty; to Orsini-
Rosenberg)
How shall one say, Director?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Too many notes, Your Majesty?

JOSEPH
Exactly. Very well put. Too many
notes.

MOZART
I don't understand. There are just
as many notes, Majesty, as are
required. Neither more nor less.

JOSEPH
My dear fellow, there are in fact
only so many notes the ear can hear
in the course of an evening. I think
I'm right in saying that, aren't I,
Court Composer?

SALIERI
Yes! yes! er, on the whole, yes,
Majesty.

MOZART
(to Salieri)
But this is absurd!

JOSEPH
My dear, young man, don't take it
too hard. Your work is ingenious.
It's quality work. And there are
simply too many notes, that's all.
Cut a few and it will be perfect.

MOZART
Which few did you have in mind,
Majesty?

Pause. General embarrassment.

JOSEPH
Well. There it is.

Into this uncomfortable scene bursts a sudden eruption of
noise and Madame Weber floods onto the stage, followed by
her daughters. All turn to look at this amazing spectacle.

MADAME WEBER
Wolfi! Wolfi, my dear!

She moves toward Mozart with arms outstretched in an absurd
theatrical gesture, then sees the Emperor. She stares at
him, mesmerized, her mouth open, unable even to curtsey.

MADAME WEBER
Oh!

Mozart moves forward quickly.

MOZART
Majesty, this is Madame Weber. She
is my landlady.

JOSEPH
Enchanted, Madame.

MADAME WEBER
Oh, Sire! such an honour! And, and,
and these are my dear daughters.
This is Constanze. She is the fiancee
of Herr Mozart.

Constanze curtsies. CU, of Cavalieri, astonished at the news.
CU, of Salieri, watching her receive it.

JOSEPH
Really? How delightful. May I ask
when you marry?

MOZART
Well - Well we haven't quite received
my father's consent, Your Majesty.
Not entirely. Not altogether.

He giggles uncomfortably.

JOSEPH
Excuse me, but how old are you?

MOZART
Twenty-six.

JOSEPH
Well, my advice is to marry this
charming young lady and stay with us
in Vienna.

MADAME WEBER
You see? You see? I've told him that,
Your Majesty, but he won't listen to
me.

Cavalieri is glaring at Mozart. Mozart looks hastily away
from her.

MADAME WEBER
Oh, Your Majesty, you give such
wonderful - such impeccable - such
royal advice. I - I - May I?

She attempts to kiss the royal hand, but faints instead.
The Emperor contemplates her prone body and steps back a
pace.

JOSEPH
Well. There it is. Strack.

He nods pleasantly to all and leaves the stage, with his
Chamberlain. All bow.

Cavalieri turns with a savage look at Mozart and leaves the
stage the opposite way, to her dressing room, tossing her
plumed head. Salieri watches. Mozart stays for a second,
indecisive whether to follow the soprano or help Madame Weber.

CONSTANZE
(to Mozart)
Get some water!

He hurries away. The daughters gather around Madame Weber.

INT. CAVALIERI'S DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

Katherina sits fuming at her mirror. A dresser is taking the
pins out of her wig as she stares straight ahead of her.
Mozart sticks his head round the door.

MOZART
Katherina! I'll tell you what I'm
going to do. I'm going to write
another aria for you. Something even
more amazing for the second act. I
have to get some water. Her mother
is lying on the stage.

CAVALIERI
Don't bother!

MOZART
What?

CAVALIERI
Don't bother.

MOZART
I'll be right back.

He dashes off.

INT. OPERA HOUSE STAGE - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780'S

Constanze and Mozart make their way quickly through a crowd
of actors in turbans and caftans, and stagehands carrying
bits of the dismantled set of Seraglio. We see all the turmoil
of backstage after a performance.

A fireman passes Mozart carrying a small bucket of water.
Mozart snatches it from him and pushes his way through the
crowd to Madame Weber, who still lies prone on the stage.

Mozart pushes through the crowd surrounding her and throws
water on her face. She is instantly revived by the shock.
Constanze assists her to rise.

CONSTANZE
Are you all right?

Instead of being furious, Madame Weber smiles at them
rapturously.

MADAME WEBER
Ah, what an evening! What a wise man
we have for an Emperor. Oh, my
children!
(with sudden, hard
briskness)
Now I want you to write your father
exactly what His Majesty said.

The activity continues to swirl around them.

MOZART
You should really go home now, Frau
Weber. Your carriage must be waiting.

MADAME WEBER
But aren't you taking us?

MOZART
I have to talk to the singers.

MADAME WEBER
That's all right; we'll wait for
you. Just don't take all night.

INT. CAVALIERI'S DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

Cavalieri, still in costume, is marching up and down, very
agitated.

CAVALIERI
Did you know? Had you heard?

SALIERI
What?

CAVALIERI
The marriage!

SALIERI
Well, what does it matter to you?

CAVALIERI
Nothing! He can marry who he pleases.
I don't give a damn.

She catches him looking at her and tries to compose herself.

CAVALIERI
How was I? Tell me honestly.

SALIERI
You were sublime.

CAVALIERI
What did you think of the music?

SALIERI
Extremely clever.

CAVALIERI
Meaning you didn't like it.

Mozart comes in unexpectedly.

MOZART
Oh - excuse me!

CAVALIERI
Is her mother still lying on the
floor?

MOZART
No, she's fine.

CAVALIERI
I'm so relieved.

She seats herself at her mirror and removes her wig.

SALIERI
Dear Mozart, my sincere
congratulations.

MOZART
Did you like it, then?

SALIERI
How could I not?

MOZART
It really is the best music one can
hear in Vienna today. Don't you agree?

CAVALIERI
Is she a good fuck?

MOZART
What??

CAVALIERI
I assume she's the virtuoso in that
department. There can't be any other
reason you'd marry someone like that.

Salieri looks astonished. There is a knock on the door.

CAVALIERI
Come in!

The door opens. Constanze enters.

CONSTANZE
Excuse me, Wolfi. Mama is not feeling
very well. Can we leave now?

MOZART
Of course.

CAVALIERI
No, no, no, no. You can't take him
away now. This is his night. Won't
you introduce us, Wolfgang?

MOZART
Excuse us, Fraulein. Good night,
Signore.

Mozart hurries Constanze out of the door. Cavalieri looks
after them as they go, her voice breaking and rising out of
control.

CAVALIERI
You really are full of surprises,
aren't you? You are quite
extraordinary, you little shit!

She turns and collapses, crying with rage, into Salieri's
arms. We focus on him.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
At that moment I knew beyond any
doubt. He'd had her. The Creature
had had my darling girl.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1820'S

The old man speaks passionately to the priest.

OLD SALIERI
It was incomprehensible. What was
God up to? Here I was denying all my
natural lust in order to deserve
God's gift and there was Mozart
indulging his in all directions -
even though engaged to be married! -
and no rebuke at all! Was it possible
I was being tested? Was God expecting
me to offer forgiveness in the face
of every offense, no matter how
painful? That was very possible. All
the same, why him? Why use Mozart to
teach me lessons in humility? My
heart was filling up with such hatred
for that little man. For the first
time in my life I began to know really
violent thoughts. I couldn't stop
them.

VOGLER
Did you try?

OLD SALIERI
Every day. Sometimes for hours I
would pray!

INT. SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAY - 1780'S

The young Salieri is kneeling in desperation before the Cross.

SALIERI
Please! Please! Send him away, back
to Salzburg. For his sake as well as
mine.

CU, Christ staring from the Cross.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. AUDIENCE HALL - ARCHBISHOP'S PALACE - SALZBURG - DAY -
1780'S

We see Leopold kneeling now not to the Cross but to Archbishop
Colloredo, sitting impassively on his throne. Count Arco
stands beside him. Leopold is a desperate, once-handsome man
of sixty, now far too much the subservient courtier.

COLLOREDO
No! I won't have him back.

LEOPOLD
But he needs to be here in Salzburg,
Your Grace. He needs me and he needs
you. Your protection, your
understanding.

COLLOREDO
Hardly.

LEOPOLD
Oh sir, yes! He's about to make the
worst mistake of his life. Some little
Viennese slut is trying to trick him
into marriage. I know my son. He is
too simple to see the trap - and
there is no one there who really
cares for him.

COLLOREDO
I'm not surprised. Money seems to be
more important to him than loyalty
or friendship. He has sold himself
to Vienna. Let Vienna look out for
him.

LEOPOLD
Sir -

COLLOREDO
Your son is an unprincipled, spoiled,
conceited brat.

LEOPOLD
Yes, sir, that's the truth. But don't
blame him. The fault is mine. I was
too indulgent with him. But not again.
Never again, I promise! I implore
you - let me bring him back here.
I'll make him give his word to serve
you faithfully.

COLLOREDO
And how will you make him keep it?

LEOPOLD
Oh, sir, he's never disobeyed me in
anything. Please, Your Grace, give
him one more chance.

COLLOREDO
You have leave to try.

LEOPOLD
Oh, Your Grace - I thank Your Grace!
I thank you!

In deepest gratitude he kisses the Archbishop's hand. He
motions Leopold to rise. We hear the first dark fortissimo
chord which begins the Overture to Don Giovanni: the theme
associated with the character of the Commendatore.

LEOPOLD (V.O.)
My dear son.

The second fortissimo chord sounds.

INT. A BAROQUE CHURCH - DAY - 1780'S

We see a huge CU, of Mozart's head, looking front and down,
as if reading his father's letter. We hear Leopold's voice
over this image, no longer whining and anxious, but
impressive.

LEOPOLD (V.O.)
I write to you with urgent news. I
am coming to Vienna. Take no further
steps toward marriage until we meet.
You are too gullible to see your own
danger. As you honour the father who
has devoted his entire life to yours,
do as I bid, and await my coming.

MOZART
I will.

The camera pulls back to see that he is in fact kneeling
beside Constanze. A PRIEST faces them. Behind them are Madame
Weber, Josefa and Sophie Weber, and a very few others. Among
them, a merry looking lady in bright clothes: the BARONESS
WALDSTADTEN.

PRIEST
And will you, Constanze Weber, take
this man, Wolfgang to be your lawful
husband?

CONSTANZE
I will.

PRIEST
I now pronounce you man and wife.

The opening kyrie of the great Mass in C Minor is heard.
Mozart and Constanze kiss. They are in tears. Madame Weber
and her daughters look on approvingly. The music swells and
continues under the following:

INT. A ROOM IN LEOPOLD'S HOUSE - SALZBURG - NIGHT - 1780'S

There is a view of a castle in background. Leopold sits alone
in his room. He is reading a letter from Wolfgang. At his
feet are his trunks, half-packed for the journey he will not
now take. We hear Mozart's voice reading the following letter
and we see, as the camera roves around the room, mementos of
the young prodigy's early life: the little forte-piano made
for him; the little violin made for him; an Order presented
to him. We see a little starling in a wicker cage. And we
see portraits of the boy on the walls, concluding with the
familiar family portrait of Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl
seated at the keyboard with Leopold standing, and the picture
of their mother on the wall behind them.

MOZART (V.O.)
Most beloved father, it is done. Do
not blame me that I did not wait to
see your dear face. I knew you would
have tried to dissuade me from my
truest happiness and I could not
have borne it. Your every word is
precious to me. Remember how you
have always told me Vienna is the
City of Musicians. To conquer here
is to conquer Europe! With my wife I
can do it. I vow I will become
regular in my habits and productive
as never before. She is wonderful,
Papa, and I know that you will love
her. And one day soon when I am a
wealthy man, you will come and live
with us, and we will be so happy. I
long for that day, best of Papas,
and kiss your hand a hundred thousand
times.

The music of the Mass fades as Leopold crumples the letter
in his hand.

EXT. THE IMPERIAL GARDENS - VIENNA - DAY - 1780'S

Salieri stands waiting, hat in hand. Beside him stands a
royal servant. Behind him, gardeners are glimpsed tending
the shrubs and bushes along a grassy ride. Down this ride
are seen cantering two people on horseback: the Emperor Joseph
and his niece, the PRINCESS ELIZABETH. They are mounted on
glossy horses. The Princess rides side-saddle. Running beside
her is a panting groom. The Emperor rides elegantly; his
niece, a dumpy little Hapsburg girl of sixteen, like a sack
of potatoes. As they draw level with Salieri they stop, and
the groom holds the head of the Princess' horse. Salieri
bows respectfully.

JOSEPH
Good morning, Court Composer. This
is my niece, the Princess Elizabeth.

SALIERI
Your Highness.

Out of breath, the Princess nods nervously.

JOSEPH
She has asked me to advise her on a
suitable musical instructor. I think
I've come up with an excellent idea.

He smiles at Salieri.

SALIERI
Oh, Your Majesty, it would be such a
tremendous honour!

JOSEPH
I'm thinking about Herr Mozart.
What is your view?

Salieri's face falls, almost imperceptibly.

SALIERI
An interesting idea, Majesty. But -

JOSEPH
Yes?

SALIERI
You already commissioned an opera
from Mozart.

JOSEPH
And the result satisfies.

SALIERI
Yes, of course. My concern is to
protect you from any suspicion of
favouritism.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha. Favouritism. But I so want
Mozart.

SALIERI
I'm sure there is a way, Majesty.
Some kind of a little contest. I
could perhaps put together a small
Committee, and I could see to it
naturally that it will select
according to Your Majesty's wishes.

JOSEPH
You please me, Court Composer. A
very clever idea.

SALIERI
(bowing)
Sire.

JOSEPH
Well. There it is.

He rides on. The groom releases her horse's head, and runs
on after the Princess.

CUT TO:

INT. CHAMBERLAIN VON STRACK'S STUDY - DAY - 1780'S

Von Strack sits stiffly behind his gilded desk. Mozart stands
before him, trembling with anger.

MOZART
What is this, Herr Chamberlain?

VON STRACK
What is what?

MOZART
Why do I have to submit samples of
my work to some stupid committee?
Just to teach a sixteen-year-old
girl.

VON STRACK
Because His Majesty wishes it.

MOZART
Is the Emperor angry with me?

VON STRACK
On the contrary.

MOZART
Then why doesn't he simply appoint
me to the post?

VON STRACK
Mozart, you are not the only composer
in Vienna.

MOZART
No, but I'm the best.

VON STRACK
A little modesty would suit you
better.

MOZART
Who is on this committee?

VON STRACK
Kapellmeister Bonno, Count Orsini-
Rosenberg and Court Composer Salieri.

MOZART
Naturally, the Italians! Of course!
Always the Italians!

VON STRACK
Mozart -

MOZART
They hate my music. It terrifies
them. The only sound Italians
understand is banality. Tonic and
dominant, tonic and dominant, from
here to Resurrection!
(singing angrily)
Ba-ba! Ba-ba! Ba-ba! Ba-ba! Anything
else is morbid.

VON STRACK
Mozart -

MOZART
Show them one interesting modulation
and they faint. Ohime! Morbidezza!
Morbidezza! Italians are musical
idiots and you want them to judge my
music!

VON STRACK
Look, young man, the issue is simple.
If you want this post, you must submit
your stuff in the same way as all
your colleagues.

MOZART
Must I? Well, I won't! I tell you
straight: I will not!

CUT TO:

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - VIENNA - DAY - 1780'S

The room is very small and untidy. Constanze is marching up
and down it, upset. Mozart is lying on the bed.

CONSTANZE
I think you're mad! You're really
mad!

MOZART
Oh, leave me alone.

CONSTANZE
One royal pupil and the whole of
Vienna will come flocking. We'd be
set up for life!

MOZART
They'll come anyway. They love me
here.

CONSTANZE
No, they will not. I know how things
work in this city.

MOZART
Oh yes? You always know everything.

CONSTANZE
Well, I'm not borrowing any more
money from my mother, and that's
that!

MOZART
You borrowed money from your mother?

CONSTANZE
Yes!

MOZART
Well, don't do that again!

CONSTANZE
How are we going to live, Wolfi? Do
you want me to go into the streets
and beg?

MOZART
Don't be stupid.

CONSTANZE
All they want to see is your work.
What's wrong with that?

MOZART
Shut up! Just shut up! I don't need
them.

CONSTANZE
This isn't pride. It's sheer
stupidity!

She glares at him, almost in tears.

CUT TO:

INT. SALIERI'S MUSIC ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON - 1780'S

Salieri is giving a lesson to a girl student, who is singing
the Italian art song, Caro Mio Ben.

There is a knock on the door.

SALIERI
Yes.

A SERVANT enters.

SERVANT
Excuse me, sir, there is a lady who
insists on talking to you.

SALIERI
Who is she?

SERVANT
She didn't say. But she says it's
urgent.

SALIERI
(to the pupil)
Excuse me, my dear.

Salieri goes into the salon.

CUT TO:

INT. THE SALON - LATE AFTERNOON - 1780'S

Constanze stands, closely veiled, holding a portfolio stuffed
with manuscripts. The singing lesson ends, with two chords
on the instrument. Salieri enters the salon. Constanze drops
him a shy curtsey.

CONSTANZE
Excellency!

SALIERI
Madame. How can I help you?

Shyly, she unveils.

SALIERI
Frau Mozart?

CONSTANZE
That's right, Your Excellency. I've
come on behalf of my hus band. I'm -
I'm bringing some samples of his
work so he can be considered for the
royal appointment.

SALIERI
How charming. But why did he not
come himself?

CONSTANZE
He's terribly busy, sir.

SALIERI
I understand.

He takes the portfolio and puts it on a table.

SALIERI
I will look at them, of course, the
moment I can. It will be an honour.
Please give him my warmest.

CONSTANZE
Would it be too much trouble, sir,
to ask you to look at them now?
While I wait.

SALIERI
I'm afraid I'm not at leisure this
very moment. Just leave them with
me. I assure you they will be quite
safe.

CONSTANZE
I - I really cannot do that, Your
Excellency. You see, he doesn't know
I'm here.

SALIERI
Really?

CONSTANZE
My husband is a proud man, sir. He
would be furious if he knew I'd come.

SALIERI
Then he didn't send you?

CONSTANZE
No, sir. This is my own idea.

SALIERI
I see.

CONSTANZE
Sir, we really need this job. We're
desperate. My husband spends far
more than he can ever earn. I don't
mean he's lazy - he's not at all -
he works all day long. It's just!
he's not practical. Money simply
slips through his fingers, it's really
ridiculous, Your Excellency. I know
you help musicians. You're famous
for it. Give him just this one post.
We'd be forever indebted!

A short pause.

SALIERI
Let me offer you some refreshment.
Do you know what these are?

He indicates a dish piled high with glazed chestnuts.

SALIERI
Cappezzoli di Venere. Nipples of
Venus. Roman chestnuts in brandied
sugar. Won't you try one? They're
quite surprising.

He offers her the dish. She takes one and puts it in her
mouth. He watches carefully.

CONSTANZE
Oh! They're wonderful.

He takes one himself. We notice on his finger a heavy gold
signet-ring.

CONSTANZE
Thank you very much, Your Excellency.

SALIERI
Don't keep calling me that. It puts
me at such a distance. I was not
born a Court Composer, you know.
I'm from a small town, just like
your husband.

He smiles at her. She takes another chestnut.

SALIERI
Are you sure you can't leave that
music, and come back again? I have
other things you might like.

CONSTANZE
That's very tempting, but it's
impossible, I'm afraid. Wolfi would
be frantic if he found those were
missing. You see, they're all
originals.

SALIERI
Originals?

CONSTANZE
Yes.

A pause. He puts out his hand and takes up the portfolio
from the table. He opens it. He looks at the music. He is
puzzled.

SALIERI
These are originals?

CONSTANZE
Yes, sir. He doesn't make copies.

CUT TO:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

The old man faces the Priest.

OLD SALIERI
Astounding! It was actually beyond
belief. These were first and only
drafts of music yet they showed no
corrections of any kind. Not one.
Do you realize what that meant?

Vogler stares at him.

OLD SALIERI
He'd simply put down music already
finished in his head. Page after
page of it, as if he was just taking
dictation. And music finished as no
music is ever finished.

INT. SALIERI'S SALON - LATE AFTERNOON - 1780'S

CU, The manuscript in Mozart's handwriting. The music begins
to sound under the following:

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
Displace one note and there would be
diminishment. Displace one phrase,
and the structure would fall. It was
clear to me. That sound I had heard
in the Archbishop's palace had been
no accident. Here again was the very
voice of God! I was staring through
the cage of those meticulous ink-
strokes at an absolute, inimitable
beauty.

The music swells. What we now hear is an amazing collage of
great passages from Mozart's music, ravishing to Salieri and
to us. The Court Composer, oblivious to Constanze, who sits
happily chewing chestnuts, her mouth covered in sugar, walks
around and around his salon, reading the pages and dropping
them on the floor when he is done with them. We see his
agonized and wondering face: he shudders as if in a rough
and tumbling sea; he experiences the point where beauty and
great pain coalesce. More pages fall than he can read,
scattering across the floor in a white cascade, as he circles
the room.

Finally, we hear the tremendous Qui Tollis from the Mass in
C Minor. It seems to break over him like a wave and, unable
to bear any more of it, he slams the portfolio shut.
Instantly, the music breaks off, reverberating in his head.
He stands shaking, staring wildly. Constanze gets up,
perplexed.

CONSTANZE
Is it no good?

A pause.

SALIERI
It is miraculous.

CONSTANZE
Oh yes. He's really proud of his
work.

Another pause.

CONSTANZE
So, will you help him?

Salieri tries to recover himself.

SALIERI
Tomorrow night I dine with the
Emperor. One word from me and the
post is his.

CONSTANZE
Oh, thank you, sir!

Overjoyed, she stops and kisses his hand. He raises her -
and then clasps her to him clumsily. She pushes herself away.

SALIERI
Come back tonight.

CONSTANZE
Tonight?

SALIERI
Alone.

CONSTANZE
What for?

SALIERI
Some service deserves service in
return. No?

CONSTANZE
What do you mean?

SALIERI
Isn't it obvious?

They stare at one another: Constanze in total disbelief.

SALIERI
It's a post all Vienna seeks. If you
want it for your husband, come
tonight.

CONSTANZE
But! I'm a married woman!

SALIERI
Then don't. It's up to you. Not to
be vague, that is the price.

He glares at her.

SALIERI
Yes.

He rings a silver bell for a servant and abruptly leaves the
roam. Constanze stares after him, horrified.

The servant enters. Shocked and stunned, Constanze goes down
an her knees and starts picking up the music from the floor.

CUT TO:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

CU, Father Vogler, horrified.

OLD SALIERI
Yes, Father. Yes! So much for my vow
of chastity. What did it matter?
Good, patient, hard-working, chaste -
what did it matter? Had goodness
made me a good composer? I realized
it absolutely then - that moment:
goodness is nothing in the furnace
of art. And I was nothing to God.

VOGLER
(crying out)
You cannot say that!

OLD SALIERI
No? Was Mozart a good man?

VOGLER
God's ways are not yours. And you
are not here to question Him. Offer
him the salt of penitence. He will
give you back the bread of eternal
life. He is all merciful. That is
all you need to know.

OLD SALIERI
All I ever wanted was to sing to
Him. That's His doing, isn't it? He
gave me that longing - then made me
mute. Why? Tell me that. If He didn't
want me to serve Him with music, why
implant the desire, like a lust in
my body, then deny me the talent? Go
on, tell me! Speak for Him!

VOGLER
My son, no one can speak for God.

OLD SALIERI
Oh? I thought you did so every day.
So speak now. Answer me!

VOGLER
I do not claim to unravel the
mysteries. I treasure them. As you
should.

OLD SALIERI
(impatiently)
Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Always
the same stale answers!
(intimately to the
priest)
There is no God of Mercy, Father.
Just a God of torture.

CUT TO:

INT. SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

Salieri sits at his desk, staring up at the cross.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
Evening came to that room. I sat
there not knowing whether the girl
would return or not. I prayed as I'd
never prayed before.

SALIERI
Dear God, enter me now. Fill me with
one piece of true music. One piece
with your breath in it, so I know
that you love me. Please. Just one.
Show me one sign of your favour, and
I will show mine to Mozart and his
wife. I will get him the royal
position, and if she comes, I'll
receive her with all respect and
send her home in joy. Enter me! Enter
me! Please! Te imploro.

Long, long silence. Salieri stares at the cross. Christ stares
back at him impassively. Finally in this silence we hear a
faint knocking at the door. Salieri stirs himself. A servant
appears.

SERVANT
That lady is back, sir.

SALIERI
Show her in. Then go to bed.

The Servant bows and leaves. We follow him through:

INT. MUSIC ROOM IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - 1780'S

The Servant crosses it and enters:

INT. SALON IN SALIERI'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - 1780'S

Constanze is sitting on an upright chair, veiled as before,
the portfolio of music on her lap. Through the far door
leading from the hall, another servant is peering at her.
The first servant joins him and shuts the door on the girl,
leaving her alone.

We stay with her. The clock ticks on the mantelpiece. We
hear an old carriage pass in the street below. Nervously she
lifts her veil and looks about her.

Suddenly Salieri appears from the music room. He is pale and
very tight. They regard each other. She smiles and rises to
greet him, affecting a relaxed and warm manner, as if to put
him at his ease.

CONSTANZE
Well, I'm here. My husband has gone
to a concert. He didn't think I would
enjoy it.

A pause.

CONSTANZE
I do apologize for this afternoon.
I behaved like a silly girl. Where
shall we go?

SALIERI
What?

CONSTANZE
Should we stay here? It's a charming
room. I love these candlesticks.
Were they here earlier? I didn't
notice them I suppose I was too
nervous.

As she talks, she extinguishes the candles in a pair of
Venetian candelabra and subsequently other candles around
the room.

CONSTANZE
Wolfgang was given some candlesticks
by King George in England, but they
were only wood. Oh, excuse me. Let's
not talk about him. What do you think
of this? It's real lace. Brussels.

She turns and takes off her shawl.

CONSTANZE
Well, it's much too good for every
day. I keep saying to Wolfi, don't
be so extravagant. Presents are
lovely, but we can't afford them.
It doesn't do any good. The more I
tell him, the more he spends. Oh,
excuse me! There I go again.

She picks up the portfolio.

CONSTANZE
Do you still want to look at this?
Or don't we need to bother anymore?
I imagine we don't, really.

She looks at him inquiringly, and drops the portfolio on the
floor; pages of music pour out of it. Instantly we hear a
massive chord, and the great Qui Tollis from the Mass in C
Minor fills the room. To its grand and weighty sound,
Constanze starts to undress, watched by the horrified Salieri.
Between him and her, music is an active presence, hurting
and baffling him. He opens his mouth in distress. The music
pounds in his head. The candle flickers over her as she
removes her clothes and prepares for his embrace. Suddenly
he cries out.

SALIERI
Go! Go! Go!

He snatches up the bell and shakes it frantically, not
stopping until the two servants we saw earlier appear at the
door. The music stops abruptly. They stare at the appalled
and frightened Constanze, who is desperately trying to cover
her nakedness.

SALIERI
Show this woman out!

Constanze hurls herself at him.

CONSTANZE
You shit! You shit! You rotten shit!

He seizes her wrists and thrusts her back. Then he leaves
the room quickly, slamming the door behind him. Constanze
turns and sees the two servants goggling at her in the room.

CONSTANZE
What are you staring at?

Wildly, she picks up the candelabrum and throws it at them.
It shatters on the floor.

INT. SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

CU, Salieri standing, his eyes shut, shaking in distress.
He opens them and sees Christ across the room, staring at
him from the wall.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
From now on, we are enemies, You and
I!

CUT TO:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

The old man is reliving the experience. Vogler looks at him,
horrified.

OLD SALIERI
Because You will not enter me, with
all my need for you; because You
scorn my attempts at virtue; because
You choose for Your instrument a
boastful, lustful, smutty infantile
boy and give me for reward only the
ability to recognize the Incarnation;
because You are unjust, unfair,
unkind, I will block You! I swear
it! I will hinder and harm Your
creature on earth as far as I am
able. I will ruin Your Incarnation.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

CU, the fireplace. In it lies the olivewood Christ on the
cross, burning.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
What use after all is Man, if not to
teach God His lessons?

The cross flames up and disintegrates. Salieri stares at it.

CUT TO:

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

The front door bursts open. Mozart stumbles in, followed by
EMMANUEL SCHIKANEDER, three young actresses, and another
man, all fairly drunk. Schikaneder (who appears everywhere
accompanied by young girls) is a large, fleshy, extravagant
man of about thirty-five.

MOZART
Stanzi! Stanzi! Stanzi-Manzi!

The others laugh.

MOZART
Sssh!

SCHIKANEDER
(imitating Mozart)
Stanzi-Manzi-Banzi-Wanzi!

MOZART
Sssh! Stay here.

He walks unsteadily to the bedroom door and opens it.

SCHIKANEDER
(to the girls, very
tipsy)
Sssh! You're dishgrashful!

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

Constanze lies in bed, her back turned to her husband, who
comes into the room and shuts the door.

MOZART
(playfully)
Stanzi? How's my mouse? Mouse-wouse?
I'm back - puss-wuss is back!

She turns around abruptly. She looks dreadful; her eyes red
with weeping. Mozart is shocked.

MOZART
Stanzi!

He approaches the bed and sits on it. Immediately she starts
crying again, desperately.

MOZART
What's the matter? What is it?
Stanzi!

He holds her and she clings to him in a fierce embrace, crying
a flood of tears.

MOZART
Stop it now. Stop it. I've brought
some friends to meet you. They're
next door waiting. Do we have anything
to eat? They're all starving.

CONSTANZE
Tell them to go away. I don't want
to see anybody.

MOZART
What's the matter with you?

CONSTANZE
Tell them to go!

MOZART
Sssh. What is it? Tell me.

CONSTANZE
No!

MOZART
Yes!

CONSTANZE
I love you! I love you!

She starts crying again, throwing her arms around his neck.

CONSTANZE
I love you. Please stay with me. I'm
frightened.

INT. THE ROYAL PALACE - DINING ROOM - DAY - 1780'S

Joseph sits eating. A butler serves him goat's milk to drink.
Joseph is holding a memorandum from Salieri in his hand.
Salieri stands before him.

JOSEPH
I don't think you understand me,
Court Composer.

SALIERI
Majesty, I did. Believe me, it was a
most agonizing. decision. But finally,
I simply could not recommend Herr
Mozart.

JOSEPH
Why not?

SALIERI
Well, Sire, I made some inquiries in
a routine way. I was curious to know
why he had so few pupils. It is rather
alarming.

JOSEPH
Oh?

With a gesture Joseph dismisses the butler, who bows and
leaves the room.

SALIERI
Majesty, I don't like to talk against
a fellow musician.

JOSEPH
Of course not.

SALIERI
I have to tell you, Mozart is not
entirely to be trusted alone with
young ladies.

JOSEPH
Really?

SALIERI
As a matter of fact, one of my own
pupils - a very young singer - told
me she was - er - well!

JOSEPH
Yes?

SALIERI
Molested, Majesty. Twice, in the
course of the same lesson.

A pause.

JOSEPH
Ah-ha. Well. There it is.

INT. SALIERI'S HOUSE - STAIRCASE - VIENNA - DAY - 1780'S

Salieri has just returned from the palace and is coming up
the staircase. He is met by his servant.

SERVANT
Sir, there is a Herr Mozart waiting
for you in the salon.

Salieri is plainly alarmed.

SALIERI
What does he want?

SERVANT
He didn't say, sir. I told him I
didn't know when you would be back,
but he insisted on waiting.

SALIERI
Come with me. And stay in the room.

He mounts the stairs.

INT. SALIERI'S APARTMENT - SALON - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart is waiting for Salieri, holding a portfolio. Salieri
approaches him nervously. Mozart stands not belligerently,
but humbly.

SALIERI
Herr Mozart, what brings you here?

MOZART
Your Excellency, you requested some
specimens of my work. Here they are.
I don't have to tell you how much I
need your help. I truly appreciate
your looking at these. I have
pressures on me - financial pressures.
As you know, I'm a married man now.

SALIERI
So you are. How is your pretty wife?

MOZART
She is well. She is - well, actually,
I'm about to become a father! She
only told me last night. You are the
first to know.

SALIERI
I'm flattered. And congratulations
to you, of course.

MOZART
So you see, this post is very
important to me right now.

Salieri looks at him in distress.

SALIERI
Why didn't you come to me yesterday,
Mozart? This is a most painful
situation. Yesterday I could have
helped you. Today, I can't.

MOZART
Why? Here is the music. It's here.
I am submitting it humbly. Isn't
that what you wanted?

SALIERI
I have just come from the palace.
The post has been filled.

MOZART
Filled? That's impossible! They
haven't even seen my work. I need
this post. Please, can't you help
me? Please!

SALIERI
My dear Mozart, there is no one in
the world I would rather help, but
now it is too late.

MOZART
Whom did they choose?

SALIERI
Herr Sommer.

MOZART
Sommer? Herr Sommer? But the man's a
fool! He's a total mediocrity.

SALIERI
No, no, no: he has yet to achieve
mediocrity.

MOZART
But I can't lose this post, I simply
can't! Excellency, please. Let's go
to the palace, and you can explain
to the Emperor that Herr Sommer is
an awful choice. He could actually
do musical harm to the Princess!

SALIERI
An implausible idea. Between you and
me, no one in the world could do
musical harm to the Princess
Elizabeth.

Mozart chuckles delightedly. Salieri offers him a glass of
white dessert and a spoon. Mozart takes it absently and goes
on talking.

MOZART
Look, I must have pupils. Without
pupils I can't manage.

SALIERI
You don't mean to tell me you are
living in poverty?

MOZART
No, but I'm broke. I'm always broke.
I don't know why.

SALIERI
It has been said, my friend, that
you are inclined to live somewhat
above your means.

MOZART
How can anyone say that? We have no
cook, no maid. We have no footman.
Nothing at all!

SALIERI
How is that possible? You give
concerts, don't you? I hear they are
quite successful.

MOZART
They're stupendously successful.
You can't get a seat. The only problem
is none will hire me. They all want
to hear me play, but they won't let
me teach their daughters. As if I
was some kind of fiend. I'm not a
fiend!

SALIERI
Of course not.

MOZART
Do you have a daughter?

SALIERI
I'm afraid not.

MOZART
Well, could you lend me some money
till you have one? Then I'll teach
her for free. That's a promise. Oh,
I'm sorry. I'm being silly. Papa's
right - I should put a padlock on my
mouth. Seriously, is there any chance
you could manage a loan? Only for
six months, eight at most. After
that I'll be the richest man in
Vienna. I'll pay you back double.
Anything. Name your terms. I'm not
joking. I'm working on something
that's going to explode like a bomb
all over Europe!

SALIERI
Ah, how exciting! Tell me more.

MOZART
I'd better not. It's a bit of a
secret.

SALIERI
Come, come, Mozart; I'm interested.
Truly.

MOZART
Actually, it's a big secret. Oh,
this is delicious! What is it?

SALIERI
Cream cheese mixed with granulated
sugar and suffused with rum. Crema
al Mascarpone.

MOZART
Ah. Italian?

SALIERI
Forgive me. We all have patriotic
feelings of some kind.

MOZART
Two thousand, two hundred florins is
all I need A hundred? Fifty?

SALIERI
What exactly are you working on?

MOZART
I can't say. Really

SALIERI
I don't think you should become known
in Vienna as a debtor, Mozart.
However, I know a very distinguished
gentleman I could recommend to you.
And he has a daughter. Will that do?

INT. MICHAEL SCHLUMBERG'S HOUSE - MORNING - 1780'S

Hysterical barking and howling. The hall is full of dogs, at
least five, all jumping up and dashing about and making a
terrific racket. Mozart, dandified in a new coat and a plumed
hat for the occasion, has arrived to teach at the house of a
prosperous merchant, MICHAEL SCHLUMBERG. Bluff, friendly and
coarse-looking, he stands in his hall amidst the leaping and
barking animals, greeting Mozart.

SCHLUMBERG
Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! Down there,
damn you.
(to Mozart)
Welcome to you. Pay no attention,
they're impossible. Stop it, you
willful things! Come this way. Just
ignore them. They're perfectly
harmless, just willful. I treat them
just like my own children.

MOZART
And which one of them do you want me
to teach?

SCHLUMBERG
What? Ha-ha! That's funny - I like
it. Which one, eh? You're a funny
fellow.
(shouting)
Hannah! Come this way.

He leads Mozart through the throng of dogs into a salon
furnished with comfortable middle-class taste.

SCHLUMBERG
Hannah!

FRAU SCHLUMBERG appears: an anxious woman in middle life.

SCHLUMBERG
(to Mozart)
You won't be teaching this one either.
She's my wife.

MOZART
(bowing)
Madame.

SCHLUMBERG
This is Herr Mozart, my dear. The
young man Herr Salieri recommended
to teach our Gertrude. Where is she?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Upstairs.

SCHLUMBERG
Gertrude!

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
You can't be Herr Mozart!

MOZART
I'm afraid I am.

SCHLUMBERG
Of course, it's him. Who do you think
it is?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
I've heard about you for ages! I
thought you must be an old man.

SCHLUMBERG
Gertrude!

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
It's such an honour for us to have
you here, Herr Mozart. And for
Gertrude.

SCHLUMBERG
People who know say the girl's got
talent. You must judge for yourself.
If you think she stinks, say so.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Michael, please! I'm sure you will
find her most willing, Herr Mozart.
She's really very excited. She's
been preparing all morning.

MOZART
Really?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Ah, now! Here she comes.

GERTRUDE SCHLUMBERG appears in the doorway: an awkward girl
of fifteen in her best dress, her hair primped and curled.
She is exceedingly nervous.

MOZART
Good morning, Fraulein Schlumberg.

SCHLUMBERG
Strudel, this is Herr Mozart. Say
good morning.

Gertrude giggles instead.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
(to Mozart)
Perhaps a little refreshment first?
A little coffee, or a little
chocolate?

MOZART
I'd like a little wine, if you have
it.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Wine?

SCHLUMBERG
Quite right. He's going to need it.
(calling and clapping
his hands)
Klaus! A bottle of wine. Prestissimo!
Now let's go to it. I've been waiting
all day for this.

He leads the way into:

INT. MUSIC ROOM - DAY - 1780'S

A forte-piano is open and waiting. All the dogs follow him.
After them come Mozart Frau and Fraulein Schlumberg. To
Mozart's dismay, husband and wife seat themselves quite
formally on a little narrow sofa, side by side.

SCHLUMBERG
(To the dogs)
Now sit down all of you and behave.
Zeman, Mandi, absolutely quiet!
(to a young beagle)
Especially you, Dudelsachs - not one
sound from you.

The dogs settle at their feet. Husband and wife smile
encouragingly at each other.

SCHLUMBERG
Come on, then. Up and at it!

Mozart gestures to the music bench. Reluctantly, the girl
sits at the instrument. Mozart sits beside her.

MOZART
Now, please play me something. Just
to give me an idea. Anything will
do.

GERTRUDE
(to parents)
I don't want you to stay.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
That's all right, dear. Just go ahead,
as if we weren't here.

GERTRUDE
But you are here.

SCHLUMBERG
Never mind, Strudel. It's part of
music, getting used to an audience.
Aren't I right, Herr Mozart?

MOZART
Well, yes! on the whole. I suppose.
(to Gertrude)
How long have you been playing,
Fraulein?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Just one year.

MOZART
Who was your teacher?

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
I was. But she quite outgrew the
little I could show her.

MOZART
Thank you, Madame.
(to Gertrude)
Come on now - courage. Play me
something you know.

In response the wretched girl just stares down at the keyboard
without playing a note. An awkward pause.

MOZART
Perhaps it would be better if we
were left alone. I think we're both
a little shy.

Husband and wife look at each other.

SCHLUMBERG
Nonsense. Strudel's not shy. She's
just willful! You give into her now,
you'll be sorry later. Strudel -
play.

Silence. The girl sits unmoving. Schlumberg bellows:

SCHLUMBERG
I said play!

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
Michael!

MOZART
Perhaps if I were to play a little
first, it might encourage the
Fraulein.
(to the girl)
Why don't you let me try the
instrument? All right?

Suddenly the girl rises. Mozart smiles at the parents. They
smile nervously back. Mozart slides along the bench, raises
his hands and preludes over the keys. Instantly a dog howls
loudly. Startled, Mozart stops. Schlumberg leaps to his feet
and goes over to the beagle.

SCHLUMBERG
Stop that, Dudelsachs! Stop it at
once!
(to Mozart)
Don't let him disturb you. He'll be
all right. He's just a little willful
too. Please, please - play. I beg
you.

Mozart resumes playing. This time it is a lively piece,
perhaps the Presto Finale from the K. 450. The dog howls
immediately.

SCHLUMBERG
Stop it! STOP!

Mozart stops.

SCHLUMBERG
No, not you. I was talking to the
dog. You keep playing. It's most
important. He always howls when he
hears music. We've got to break them
of the habit. Play, please. Please!

Amazed, Mozart starts to play the Rondo again. The dog howls
louder.

SCHLUMBERG
That's it. Now keep going, just keep
going.
(to the beagle)
Now you stop that noise, Dudelsachs,
you stop it this instant! This
instant, do you hear me? Keep going,
Herr Mozart, that's it. Go on, go
on!

Mozart plays on. Suddenly the dog falls silent. Schlumberg
smiles broadly.

SCHLUMBERG
Good, good, good! Very good dog!
Very, very good Dudelsachs.
(to his wife, snapping
his fingers)
Quick, quick, dear, bring his biscuit.

The wife scurries to get a jar of biscuits. A servant brings
in an open bottle of wine and a full glass on a tray. He
puts it down beside Mozart as Schlumberg addresses the silent
dog with deepest affection.

SCHLUMBERG
Now guess who's going to get a nice
reward? Clever, clever Dudi.

He gives the biscuit to the dog who swallows it greedily.
Mozart stops playing and stands up.

SCHLUMBERG
It's a miracle, Herr Mozart!

MOZART
(barely controlling
himself)
Well, I'm a good teacher. The next
time you wish me to instruct another
of your dogs, please let me know.
Goodbye, Fraulein, goodbye, Madame!
goodbye, Sir!

He bows to them and leaves the room. They look after him in
puzzled astonishment.

FRAU SCHLUMBERG
What a strange young man.

SCHLUMBERG
Yes. He is a little strange.

EXT. A BUSY STREET IN VIENNA - DAY - 1780'S

A cheerful scene. We see Mozart strutting and beaming, making
his way through the crowd of porters, carriers and hawkers,
sellers of sausages and pastries, vendors of hats and ribbons.
Horses and carriage clatter past him. His mood is best
expressed by a bubbling version of Non piu Andrai played on
the forte-piano.

Still in the same mood, he enters the door of his own house.

INT. MOZART'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY - 1780'S

Suddenly, he stops. He looks up the stairs. The grim opening
chords from the Overture to Don Giovanni cut across the march
from Figaro. What he sees, looking up the stairs, is a
menacing figure in a long, grey cape and dark grey hat,
standing on the landing. The light comes from behind the
figure so that we see only its silhouette as it unfolds its
arms towards Mozart in an alarming gesture of possession.
It takes a beat in which the air of sinister mystery is held
before Mozart realizes who it is. Then, as the music
continues, he hastily sets down the bottle of wine and rushes
joyfully up the stairs and hurls himself into the figure's
arms.

MOZART
Papa! PAPA!

Both men embrace. The music slowly fades.

INT. MOZART'S LIVING ROOM - DAY - 1780'S

A cramped, low-ceilinged little room which nobody has tidied
for ages. We see music lying everywhere. Also there are many
empty wine bottles; musical instruments - among them a
mandolin, a viola, a forte-piano with the black and white
keys reversed - books and abandoned plates of food.

Mozart clasps his father's arms. Leopold is now seen as an
aging, travel-stained man in clothes that need repair. His
face is lined, and he is obviously not in perfect health.

MOZART
Why are you here?

LEOPOLD
Am I not welcome?

MOZART
Of course, welcome! Welcome ten
thousand times. Papa! my Papa!

He kisses his hands.

LEOPOLD
You're very thin. Does she not feed
you, this wife of yours?

Mozart ducks away and fetches his father's bags from the
landing.

MOZART
Feed? Well, of course she feeds me.
She stuffs me like a goose all day
long. She's the best cook in the
world. I mean, since Mama. Just wait,
you'll see.

LEOPOLD
Is she not here?

MOZART
I don't know. Stanzi? Stanzi!

Leopold looks about him at the mess in the room.

LEOPOLD
Do you always live like this?

MOZART
Oh, yes. Oh, I mean no - not exactly
like this. I mean today - just today,
Stanzi - I remember now. She had to
go - yes! She had to help her mother.
Yes, she's like that. Her mother's a
very sweet woman, you'll see.

He carries the bag across the room and opens the door of the
bedroom. Constanze lies in bed. She sits up, startled.

MOZART
Oh! I didn't know you were home.
Stanzi, this is my father.

Constanze, who looks ill and tired, stares at Leopold.
Leopold stares back from the doorway.

MOZART
We'll wait, we'll wait. Why don't
you get up now, darling?

He closes the door again.

MOZART
She's very tired, poor creature.
You know me: I'm a real pig. It's
not so easy cleaning up after me.

LEOPOLD
Don't you have a maid?

MOZART
Oh we could, if we wanted to, but
Stanzi won't hear of it. She wants
to do everything herself.

LEOPOLD
How is your financial situation?

MOZART
It couldn't be better.

LEOPOLD
That's not what I hear.

MOZART
What do you mean? It's wonderful.
Really, it's - it's marvelous! People
love me here.

LEOPOLD
They say you're in debt.

MOZART
Who? Who says that? Now that's a
malicious lie!

LEOPOLD
How many pupils do you have?

MOZART
Pupils?

LEOPOLD
Yes.

MOZART
Yes.

LEOPOLD
How many?

MOZART
I don't know. It's not important. I
mean, I don't want pupils. They get
in the way. I've got to have time
for composition.

LEOPOLD
Composition doesn't pay. You know
that.

MOZART
This one will.

He picks up some pages of manuscript.

LEOPOLD
What's that?

MOZART
Oh, let's not talk about it.

LEOPOLD
Why not?

MOZART
It's a secret.

LEOPOLD
You don't have secrets from me.

MOZART
It's too dangerous, Papa. But they're
going to love it. Ah, there she is!

Constanze comes into the room. She is wearing a dressing
gown and has made a perfunctory attempt to tidy her hair.
We see that she is clearly pregnant.

MOZART
My Stanzi - look at her! Isn't she
beautiful? Come on now, confess,
Papa. Could you want a prettier girl
for a daughter?

CONSTANZE
Stop it, Wolfi. I look dreadful.
Welcome to our house, Herr Mozart.

MOZART
He's not Herr Mozart. Call him Papa.

LEOPOLD
I see that you're expecting.

CONSTANZE
Oh, yes.

LEOPOLD
When, may I ask?

CONSTANZE
In three months! Papa.

MOZART
Isn't that marvelous? We're delighted.

LEOPOLD
Why didn't you mention it in your
letters?

MOZART
Didn't I? I thought I did. I'm sure
I did.

He gives a little giggle of embarrassment.

CONSTANZE
May I offer you some tea, Herr Mozart?

MOZART
Tea? Who wants tea? Let's go out!
This calls for a feast. You don't
want tea, Papa. Let's go dancing.
Papa loves parties, don't you?

CONSTANZE
Wolfi!

MOZART
What? How can you be so boring?
Tea!

CONSTANZE
Wolfi, I think your father's tired.
I'll cook us something here.

LEOPOLD
Thank you. That'll be fine. Don't
spend any money on me.

MOZART
Why not? Oh, come, Papa! What better
way could I spend it than on you? My
kissable, missable, suddenly visible
Papa!

The jaunty tune of Ich Mochte Wohl Der Kaiser sein (K.539)
sounds through all the following. This is an alternate song
from Il Seraglio: a very extroverted tune for baritone and
orchestra and a prominent part for bass drum. The vocal part
should be arranged for trumpet.

EXT. STREET IN VIENNA - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart and Constanze with Leopold between them. We see couples
shopping.

INT. A COSTUME SHOP - VIENNA - DAY - 1780'S

This is a shop where one can buy costumes for masquerades.
It is filled with extravagant costumes of various kinds.
Wolfgang is wearing a costume, a mask pushed up on his
forehead; Constanze is wearing a little white velvet mask.

Amidst the merriment, Leopold is helped by two assistants to
put on a dark grey cloak and a dark grey tricorne hat, to
which is attached a full mask of dark grey. Its mouth is cut
into a fixed upward smile.

He turns and looks at his son through this mask.

CUT STRAIGHT TO:

INT. A LARGE PARTY ROOM - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780'S

We are in the full whirl of a Masquerade Ball. Couples are
dancing around dressed in fantastic costumes. The music of
Ich Mochte Wohl Der Kaiser sein increases in volume and
persists. We see the musicians thumping it out on a balustrade
above the dancers. A steer is being roasted. Through the
bobbing crowd we see a group, headed by the figure of Bacchus:
this is Schikaneder in a Greek costume, wearing vine leaves
in his hair. He is accompanied by his usual trio of actresses
and three other men. Constanze as Columbine and Mozart as
Harlequin are pulling Leopold by the hand of his dark cloak
and smiling mask. This whole group threads its way across
the crowded room and disappears through a door. As they go,
they are watched by Salieri, standing alone in a corner,
wearing ordinary evening clothes. He turns away hastily to
avoid being seen by them.

As soon as they disappear into the far room, Salieri goes
quickly to a lady in the corner who is giving guests domino
masks off a tray. He quickly takes a small black mask and
puts it on.

CUT TO:

INT. A GROTTO ROOM NEXT DOOR - NIGHT - 1780'S

A fantastic room designed as a rocky grotto, lit by candles.
A forte-piano to one side is being played by Schikaneder:
the music of Ich Mochte Wohl Der Kaiser sein cross-fades to
another tune. This is Vivat Bacchus from Il Seraglio which

Schikaneder, dressed as Bacchus, is humming as he plays. The
music is actually accompanying a game of Forfeits, which has
begun. Five couples (the group we have just seen) are dancing
in the middle of a ring made by nine chairs. When the music
stops they will each have to find a chair, and the one who
fails must pay a forfeit.

Constanze is dancing with Leopold; Mozart is dancing with
one of the actresses; the two other actresses are dancing
with two other gentlemen; and two children dance together -
a little boy and a little girl. The scene is watched by a
circle of bystanders; among them - from the doorway - is
Salieri.

Schikaneder stops playing. Immediately the couples scramble
for the chairs. Leopold and Constanze meet on the same chair,
bumping and pushing at each other to get sole possession of
it. To the amusement of the people around, the chair over-
balances and they both end up on the floor. Constanze
immediately gets up again, sets the chair on its feet, and
tries to pretend she was sitting in it all the time. But
Schikaneder calls out from the forte-piano.

SCHIKANEDER
No, no! You both lost. You both lost.
You both have to forfeit. And the
penalty is you must exchange your
wigs.

People are delighted by the idea of this penalty. The children
jump up and down with excitement. The three actresses
immediately surround Leopold, reaching for his hat and mask
and wig, whilst he tries to hold on to them. Mozart takes
off Constanze's wig - an absurd affair with side-curls.
Constanze laughingly surrenders it.

LEOPOLD
No, please! This is ridiculous! No,
please!

Despite his protests an actress takes off his hat, to which
the smiling mask is attached, to reveal his outraged face
showing a very different expression underneath. Another
actress snatches off his wig to reveal very sparse hair on
the old man's head. The third actress takes Constanze's wig
from Mozart and attempts to put it on his father's head.

LEOPOLD
No, really!

MOZART
(calling to him)
This is just a game, Papa.

Constanze echoes him with a touch of malice in her voice.

CONSTANZE
This is just a game, Papa!

Laughingly, the bystanders take it up, especially the
children.

BYSTANDERS
This is just a game, Papa!

As Leopold glares furiously about him, the actress succeeds
in getting Constanze's wig firmly onto his head. Everybody
bursts into applause. Delightedly, Constanze puts on Leopold's
wig, hat and mask: from the waist up she now looks like a
weird parody of Leopold in the smiling grey mask, and he
looks like a weird parody of her in the silly feminine wig.
Schikaneder starts to play again, and the couples start to
dance. Leopold angrily takes off Constanze's wig and leaves
the circle; his partner, Constanze, is left alone. Seeing
this, Mozart leaves his partner and catches his father
entreatingly by the arm.

MOZART
Oh no, Papa, please! Don't spoil the
fun. Come on. Here, take mine.

He takes off his own wig and puts it on Leopold's uncovered
head. The effect, if not as ridiculous, is still somewhat
bizarre, since Wolfgang favours fairly elaborate wigs. He
takes Constanze's wig from his father. As this happens, the
music stops again. Mozart gently pushes his father down onto
a nearby chair; the others scramble for the other chairs;
and he is left as the Odd Man Out. He giggles. Schikaneder
calls out to Leopold from the keyboard.

SCHIKANEDER
Herr Mozart, why don't you name your
son's penalty?

Applause.

MOZART
Yes, Papa, name it. Name it. I'll do
anything you say!

LEOPOLD
I want you to come back with me to
Salzburg, my son.

SCHIKANEDER
What did he say? What did he say?

MOZART
Papa, the rule is you can only give
penalties that can be performed in
the room.

LEOPOLD
I'm tired of this game. Please play
without me.

MOZART
But my penalty. I've got to have a
penalty.

All the bystanders are watching.

SCHIKANEDER
I've got a good one. I've got the
perfect one for you. Come over here.

Mozart runs over to the forte-piano, and Schikaneder
surrenders his place at it.

SCHIKANEDER
Now, I want you to play our tune -
sitting backwards.

Applause.

MOZART
Oh, that's really too easy. Any child
can do that.

Amused sounds of disbelief.

SCHIKANEDER
And a fugue in the manner of Sebastian
Bach.

Renewed applause at this wicked extra penalty. Mozart smiles
at Schikaneder - it is the sort of challenge he loves. He
defiantly puts on Constanze's wig and seats himself with his
back to the keyboard. Before the astonished eyes of the
company he proceeds to execute this absurdly difficult task.
His right hand plays the bass part, his left hand the treble,
and with this added difficulty he improvises a brilliant
fugue on the subject of the tune to which they have been
dancing.

Attracted by this astonishing feat, the players draw nearer
to the instrument. So does Salieri, cautiously, with some of
the bystanders. Constanze watches him approach. Only Leopold
sits by himself, sulking.

The fugue ends amidst terrific clapping. The guests call out
to Mozart.

GUESTS
Another! Do another! Someone else.

MOZART
Give me a name. Who shall I do?
Give me a name.

GUESTS
Gluck! Haydn! Frederic Handel!

CONSTANZE
Salieri! Do Salieri!

SMASH CUT: Salieri's masked face whips around and looks at
her.

MOZART
Now that's hard. That's very hard.
For Salieri one has to face the right
way around.

Giggling, he turns around and sits at the keyboard. Then,
watched by a highly amused group, he begins a wicked parody.

He furrows his brow in mock concentration and closes his
eyes. Then he begins to play the tune to which they danced,
in the most obvious way imaginable, relying heavily on a
totally and offensively unimaginative bass of tonic and
dominant, endlessly repeated. The music is the very essence
of banality. The bystanders rock with laughter. Mozart starts
to giggle wildly. Through this excruciating scene, Salieri
stares at Constanze, who suddenly turns her head and looks
challengingly back at him.

Mozart's parody reaches its coarse climax with him adding a
fart noise instead of notes to end cadences. He builds this
up, urged on in his clowning by everyone else, until suddenly
he stops and cries out. The laughter cuts off. Mozart stands
up, clutching his behind as if he has made a mess in his
breeches. The momentary hush of alarm is followed by a howl
of laughter.

CU, Salieri staring in pain.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

CU, The old man is shaking at the very recollection of his
humiliation.

OLD SALIERI
Go on. Mock me. Laugh, laugh!

CUT BACK TO:

INT. GROTTO - NIGHT - 1780'S

A repetition of the shot of Mozart at the forte-piano, wearing
Constanze's wig and emitting a shrill giggle.

CUT TO:

INT. SALIERI'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

Salieri sits at his desk. He holds in his hand the small
black party mask and stares in hatred at the place on the
wall where the crucifix used to hang. Faintly we see the
mark of the cross.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
That was not Mozart laughing, Father.
That was God. That was God! God
laughing at me through that obscene
giggle. Go on, Signore. Laugh. Rub
my nose in it. Show my mediocrity
for all to see. You wait! I will
laugh at You! Before I leave this
earth, I will laugh at You! Amen!

INT. MOZART'S WORKROOM - DAY - 1780'S

It is littered with manuscripts. In the middle stands a
billiard table. The beautiful closing ensemble from Act IV
of Figaro: Ah, Tutti contenti! Saremo cosi plays in the
background. Standing at the billiard table, Mozart is dreamily
hearing the music and playing shots on the table.

From time to time he drifts over to a piece of manuscript
paper and jots down notes. He is very much in his own world
of composition and the billiard balls are an aid to creation.
Presently, however, we hear a knocking at the door.

CONSTANZE
(outside the door)
Wolfi! Wolfgang!

The music breaks off.

MOZART
What is it?

He opens the door.

CONSTANZE
There's a young girl to see you.

MOZART
What does she want?

CONSTANZE
I don't know.

MOZART
Well, ask her!

CONSTANZE
She won't talk to me. She says she
has to speak to you.

MOZART
Oh, damn!

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart comes out. Framed in the doorway from outside stands
Lorl, the maid we noticed in Salieri's house. From his bedroom
Leopold peeps out to watch. Mozart goes to the girl. Constanze
follows.

MOZART
Yes?

LORL
Are you Herr Mozart?

MOZART
That's right.

LORL
My name is Lorl, sir. I'm a
maidservant. I was asked to come
here and offer my services to you.

MOZART
What?

LORL
They'll be paid for by a great admirer
or yours who wishes to remain anon -
anonymous.

CONSTANZE
What do you mean? What admirer?

LORL
I can't tell you that, ma'am.

MOZART
Are you saying that someone is paying
you to be our maid and doesn't want
us to know who he is?

LORL
Yes. I can live in or out just as
you wish.

Mozart turns to his father.

MOZART
Papa, is this your idea?

LEOPOLD
Mine?

The old man emerges from his bedroom. His son looks at him
delightedly.

MOZART
Are you playing a trick on me?

LEOPOLD
I never saw this girl in my life.
(to Lorl)
Is this a kind of joke?

LORL
Not at all, sir. And I was told to
wait for an answer.

LEOPOLD
Young woman, this won't do at all.
My son can't possibly accept such an
offer, no matter how generous, unless
he knows who is behind it.

LORL
But I really can't tell you, sir.

LEOPOLD
Oh, this is ridiculous.

CONSTANZE
What is ridiculous? Wolfi has many
admirers in Vienna. They love him
here. People send us gifts all the
time.

LEOPOLD
But you can't take her without
reference. It's unheard of!

CONSTANZE
Well, this is none of your business.
(to Lorl)
Whoever sent you is going to pay,
no?

LORL
That's right, ma'am.

LEOPOLD
So now we are going to let a perfect
stranger into the house?

Constanze looks furiously at him, then at Lorl.

CONSTANZE
Who is we? Who is letting who?
(to Lorl)
Could you please wait outside?

LORL
Yes, ma'am.

Lorl goes outside and closes the door. Constanze turns on
Leopold.

CONSTANZE
Look, old man, you stay out of this.
We spend a fortune on you, more than
we can possibly afford, and all you
do is criticize, morning to night.
And then you think you can -

MOZART
Stanzi!

CONSTANZE
No, it's right he should hear. I'm
sick to death of it. We can't do
anything right for you, can we?

LEOPOLD
Never mind. You won't have to do
anything for me ever again. I'm
leaving!

MOZART
Papa!

LEOPOLD
Don't worry, I'm not staying here to
be a burden.

MOZART
No one calls you that.

LEOPOLD
She does. She says I sleep all day.

CONSTANZE
And so you do! The only time you
come out is to eat.

LEOPOLD
And what do you expect? Who wants to
walk out into a mess like this every
day?

CONSTANZE
Oh, now I'm a bad housekeeper!

LEOPOLD
So you are! The place is a pigsty
all the time.

CONSTANZE
(to Mozart)
Do you hear him? Do you?

Explosively she opens the door.

CONSTANZE
(to Lorl)
When can you start?

LORL
Right away, ma'am.

CONSTANZE
Good! Come in. You'll start with
that room there.
(indicating Leopold's
room)
It's filthy!

She leads the maid into Leopold's room. Mozart steals back
into his workroom and gently closes the door. Leopold is
left alone.

LEOPOLD
Sorry, sorry! I'm sorry I spoke!
I'm just a provincial from Salzburg.
What do I know about smart Vienna?
Parties all night, every night.
Dancing and drinking like idiot
children!

INT. MOZART'S WORKROOM - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart stands trying to blot out the noise of his father's
shouting from the next room.

LEOPOLD (O.S.)
Dinner at eight! Dinner at ten! Dinner
when anyone feels like it! If anyone
feels like it!

The ensemble of Ah, Tutti contenti! Saremo cosi from Act IV
of Figaro resumes, coming to his aid and rising to greet the
listener with its serene harmonies. Relieved, Mozart languidly
picks up his cue and plays a shot on the billiard table: he
is sucked back into his own world of sound.

INT. SALIERI'S SALON - NIGHT - 1780'S

The music fades. We see Lorl, dressed in a walking cloak,
sitting before a desk, talking to someone confidentially.

LORL
They're out every night, sir. Till
all hours.

A hand comes into frame offering a plate of sugared biscuits.
On its finger we see the gold signet ring belonging to
Salieri.

LORL
(taking one)
Oh, thank you, sir.

SALIERI
Do any pupils come to the house?

LORL
Not that I've seen.

SALIERI
Then how does he pay for all this?
Does he work at all?

LORL
Oh, yes, sir, all day long. He never
leaves the house until evening. He
just sits there, writing and writing.
He doesn't even eat.

SALIERI
Really? What is it he's writing?

LORL
Oh, I wouldn't know that, sir.

SALIERI
Of course not. You're a good girl.
You're very kind to do this. Next
time you're sure they'll be out of
the house, let me know, will you?

Confused, the girl hesitates. He hands her a pile of coins.

LORL
Oh, thank you, sir!

She accepts them, delighted.

EXT. MOZART'S HOUSE - VIENNA STREET - AFTERNOON - 1780'S

The final movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto in E-flat (K.
482) begins. To its lively music, the door of the house bursts
open and a grand forte-piano augmented with a pedal is carried
out of it by six men, who run off with it down the street.
Following them immediately appear Wolfgang, Constanze and
Leopold, all three dressed for an occasion. They climb into
a waiting carriage which drives off after the forte-piano.
As soon as it goes, Lorl appears in the doorway, peering
slyly around to see that they are out of sight. Then she
shuts the door and hurries off in the opposite direction.

CUT TO:

EXT. AN ORNAMENTAL GARDEN - VIENNA - AFTERNOON - 1780'S

An outdoor concert is being given. Mozart is actually playing
the final movement of his E-flat concerto with an orchestra.
Listening to him is a sizable audience, including the Emperor,
flanked by Strack and Von Swieten.

The crowd is in a happy and appreciative mood: it is a
delightful open-air scene. We hear the gayest and most complex
passage. Leopold and Constanze listen to Mozart, who plays
his own work brilliantly. We stay with this scene for a little
while and then

CUT TO:

EXT. VIENNA STREET - AFTERNOON - 1780'S

A carriage clopping through the streets. Lorl is sitting up
on the box beside the driver. Inside the vehicle, we glimpse
the figure of Salieri.

EXT. AN ORNAMENTAL GARDEN - VIENNA - 1780'S

We hear more of the concerto. Perhaps the slow interlude in
the last movement of K. 482. Mozart is conducting and playing
in a reflective mood. Abruptly we

CUT TO:

EXT. MOZART' S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON - 1780'S

Lorl is opening the door admitting Salieri. They go in. The
door shuts.

INT. MOZART'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON - 1780'S

The room is considerably tidier as a result of Lorl's
ministrations. Salieri stands looking about him with
tremendous curiosity.

LORL
I think I've found out about the
money, sir.

SALIERI
Yes what?

She opens a drawer in a sideboard. Inside we see one gold
snuff box: it is the one we saw Mozart being presented with
as a child in the Vatican.

LORL
He kept seven snuff boxes in here.
I could swear they were all gold.
And now look there's only one left.
And inside, sir, look - I counted
them - tickets from the pawnshop.
Six of them.

Salieri turns to look around him.

SALIERI
Where does he work?

LORL
In there, sir.

She points across the room to the workroom. Salieri crosses
and goes in alone.

INT. MOZART'S WORKROOM - AFTERNOON - 1780'S

Salieri enters the private quarters of Amadeus. He is
immensely excited. He moves slowly into the 'holy of holies'
picking up objects with great reverence - a billiard ball; a
discarded wig; a sock; a buckle - then objects more important
to him. Standing at Mozart's desk, strewn with manuscripts,
he picks up Mozart's pen and strokes the feather. He touches
the inkstand. He lays a finger on the candlestick with its
half-expired candle. He touches each object as if it were
the memento of a beloved. He is in awe. Finally his eye falls
on the sheets of music themselves. Stealthily he picks them
up.

CU, The pages.

We see words set to music. Against each line of notes is the
name of a character: Contessa, Susanna, Cherubino. Then
another page - the title page - written in Mozart's hand.

Le Nozze di Figaro Comedia per musica tratta dal Francese in
quattro atti.

CU, The word Figaro.

CU, Salieri. He stares amazed.

CUT TO:

EXT. ORNAMENTAL GARDEN - VIENNA - AFTERNOON - 1780'S

Mozart is playing the cadenza and coda of Piano Concerto (K.
482). He completes the work with a flourish. There is loud
applause. The Emperor rises and all follow suit. Mozart comes
down to be greeted by him.

JOSEPH
Bravo, Mozart. Most charming. Yes,
indeed. Clever man.

MOZART
Thank you, Sire!

VON SWIETEN
Well done, Mozart. Really quite fine.

MOZART
Baron!

He sees his wife and father standing by in the crowd. Leopold
is signaling insistently.

MOZART
Majesty, may I ask you to do me the
greatest favour?

JOSEPH
What is it?

MOZART
May I introduce my father? He is on
a short visit here and returning
very soon to Salzburg. He would so
much like to kiss your hand. It would
make his whole stay so memorable for
him.

JOSEPH
Ah! By all means.

Leopold comes forward eagerly and fawningly kisses the royal
hand.

LEOPOLD
Your Majesty.

Constanze curtsies.

JOSEPH
Good evening.
(to Leopold)
We have met before, Herr Mozart.

LEOPOLD
That's right, Your Majesty. Twenty
years ago. No, twenty-two! twenty-
three! And I remember word for word
what you said to me. You said - you
said --

He searches his memory.

JOSEPH
Bravo?

LEOPOLD
No! Yes, 'bravo,' of course 'bravo'!
Everybody always says 'bravo' when
Wolfi plays. Like the King of England.
When we played for the King of
England, he got up at the end and
said, 'Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!' three
times. Three bravo's. And the Pope
four! Four bravo's from the Holy
Father, and one 'bellissimo.'

All the courtiers around are looking at him.

MOZART
Father -

LEOPOLD
Hush! I'm talking to His Majesty.
Your Majesty, I wish to express only
one thing - that you who are the
Father of us all, could teach our
children the gratitude they owe to
fathers. It is not for nothing that
the Fifth Commandment tells us:
'Honour your Father and Mother, that
your days may be long upon the earth.'

JOSEPH
Ah-ha. Well. There it is.

CUT TO:

INT. ORSINI-ROSENBERG'S STUDY - DAY - 1780'S

The Director sits at his table with Salieri and Bonno.

SALIERI
I've just learned something that
might be of interest to you, Herr
Director.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Yes?

SALIERI
Mozart is writing a new opera. An
Italian opera.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Italian?

BONNO
Aie!

SALIERI
And that's not all. He has chosen
for his subject, Figaro. The Marriage
of Figaro.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
You mean that play?

SALIERI
Exactly.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
He's setting that play to music?

SALIERI
Yes.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
You must be mad.

BONNO
What is this Marriage of Figaro?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
It's a French play, Kapellmeister.
It has been banned by the Emperor.

BONNO
Hah!

He crosses himself, wide-eyed with alarm.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Are you absolutely sure?

SALIERI
I've seen the manuscript.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Where?

SALIERI
Never mind.

CUT TO:

INT. CHAMBERLAIN VON STRACK'S STUDY - DAY - 1780'S

VON STRACK
I know we banned this play, but
frankly I can't remember why. Can
you refresh my memory, Herr Director?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
For the same reason, Herr Chamberlain,
that it was banned in France.

VON STRACK
Oh yes, yes. And that was?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Well, the play makes a hero out of a
valet. He outwits his noble master
and exposes him as a lecher. Do you
see the implications? This would be,
in a grander situation, as if a
Chamberlain were to expose an Emperor.

VON STRACK
Ah.

CUT TO:

INT. THE EMPEROR'S STUDY - DAY - 1780'S

The Emperor stands in the middle of the room in close
conversation with Von Strack, Orsini-Rosenberg, Von Swieten,
and Bonno. Salieri is not present. A door opens and a lackey
announces:

LACKEY
Herr Mozart.

They all turn. Mozart approaches, rather apprehensively, and
kisses Joseph's hand.

JOSEPH
Sit down, gentlemen, please.

They all sit, save Mozart. The room suddenly looks like a
tribunal. Joseph is in a serious mood.

JOSEPH
Mozart, are you aware I have declared
the French play of Figaro unsuitable
for our theatre?

MOZART
Yes, Sire.

JOSEPH
Yet we hear you are making an opera
from it. Is this true?

MOZART
Who told you this, Majesty?

JOSEPH
It is not your place to ask questions.
Is it true?

MOZART
Well, yes, I admit it is.

JOSEPH
Would you tell me why?

MOZART
Well, Majesty, it is only a comedy.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
What you think, Mozart, is scarcely
the point. It is what His Majesty
thinks that counts.

MOZART
But, Your Majesty -

JOSEPH
(motioning him to be
silent)
Mozart, I am a tolerant man. I do
not censor things lightly. When I
do, I have good reason. Figaro is a
bad play. It stirs up hatred between
the classes. In France it has caused
nothing but bitterness. My own dear
sister Antoinette writes me that she
is beginning to be frightened of her
own people. I do not wish to see the
same fears starting here.

MOZART
Sire, I swear to Your Majesty, there's
nothing like that in the story. I
have taken out everything that could
give offense. I hate politics.

JOSEPH
I think you are rather innocent, my
friend. In these dangerous times I
cannot afford to provoke our nobles
or our people simply over a theatre
piece.

The others look at their king solemnly, all save Mozart.

MOZART
But, Majesty, this is just a frolic.
It's a piece about love.

JOSEPH
Ah, love again.

MOZART
But it's new, it's entirely new.
It's so new, people will go mad for
it. For example, I have a scene in
the second act - it starts as a duet,
just a man and wife quarreling.
Suddenly the wife's scheming little
maid comes in unexpectedly - a very
funny situation. Duet turns into
trio. Then the husband's equally
screaming valet comes in. Trio turns
into quartet. Then a stupid old
gardener - quartet becomes quintet,
and so on. On and on, sextet, septet,
octet! How long do you think I can
sustain that?

JOSEPH
I have no idea.

MOZART
Guess! Guess, Majesty. Imagine the
longest time such a thing could last,
then double it.

JOSEPH
Well, six or seven minutes! maybe
eight!

MOZART
Twenty, sire! How about twenty?
Twenty minutes of continuous music.
No recitatives.

VON SWIETEN
Mozart -

MOZART
(ignoring him)
Sire, only opera can do this. In a
play, if more than one person speaks
at the same time, it's just noise.
No one can understand a word. But
with music, with music you can have
twenty individuals all talking at
once, and it's not noise - it's a
perfect harmony. Isn't that marvelous?

VON SWIETEN
Mozart, music is not the issue here.
No one doubts your talent. It is
your judgment of literature that's
in question. Even with the politics
taken out, this thing would still
remain a vulgar farce. Why waste
your spirit on such rubbish? Surely
you can choose more elevated themes?

MOZART
Elevated? What does that mean?
Elevated! The only thing a man should
elevate is - oh, excuse me. I'm sorry.
I'm stupid. But I am fed up to the
teeth with elevated things! Old dead
legends! How can we go on forever
writing about gods and legends?

VON SWIETEN
(aroused)
Because they do. They go on forever -
at least what they represent. The
eternal in us, not the ephemeral.
Opera is here to ennoble us. You and
me, just as much as His Majesty.

BONNO
Bello! Bello, Barone. Veramente.

MOZART
Oh, bello, bello, bello! Come on
now, be honest. Wouldn't you all
rather listen to your hairdressers
than Hercules? Or Horatius? Or
Orpheus? All those old bores! people
so lofty they sound as if they shit
marble!

VON SWIETEN
What?

VON STRACK
Govern your tongue, sir! How dare
you?

Beat. All look at the Emperor.

MOZART
Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar
man. But I assure you, my music is
not.

JOSEPH
You are passionate, Mozart! But you
do not persuade.

MOZART
Sire, the whole opera is finished.
Do you know how much work went into
it?

BONNO
His Majesty has been more than
patient, Signore.

MOZART
How can I persuade you if you won't
let me show it?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
That will do, Herr Mozart!

MOZART
Just let me tell you how it begins.

VON STRACK
Herr Mozart -

MOZART
May I just do that, Majesty? Show
you how it begins? Just that?

A slight pause. Then Joseph nods.

JOSEPH
Please.

Mozart falls on his knees.

MOZART
Look! There's a servant, down on his
knees. Do you know why? Not from any
oppression. No, he's simply measuring
a space. Do you know what for? His
bed. His wedding bed to see if it
will fit.

He giggles.

CUT TO:

INT. OPERA HOUSE - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart sits on stage at a harpsichord rehearsing the singers
taking the parts of Figaro and Susanna in the opening bars
of the first act of The Marriage of Figaro. We watch Figaro
measuring the space for his bed on the floor, singing and
Susanna looking on, trying on the Countess' hat.

CUT TO:

INT. SALIERI'S SALON - DAY - 1780'S

Orsini-Rosenberg and Bonno are sitting with Salieri.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Well, Mozart is already rehearsing.

SALIERI
Incredible.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
The Emperor has given him permission.

BONNO
Si, si! Veramente.

SALIERI
Well, gentlemen, so be it. In that
case I think we should help Mozart
all we can and do our best to protect
him against the Emperor's anger.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
What anger?

SALIERI
About the ballet.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Ballet? What ballet?

SALIERI
Excuse me - didn't His Majesty
specifically forbid ballet in his
opera?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Yes, absolutely. Is there a ballet
in Figaro?

SALIERI
Yes, in the third act.

CUT TO:

INT. THE OPERA HOUSE - DAY - 1780'S

It is a full orchestral rehearsal. Mozart is conducting from
the harpsichord with his hands; he does not use a baton.
The singers are all in practice clothes, not costumes.

We are in the Act III and we hear the recitativo exchange
just before the march begins. Orsini-Rosenberg and Bonno sit
watching chairs.

Suddenly the march starts. Peasants and friends start to
dance in and at the same moment, Orsini-Rosenberg gets up
and comes down to Mozart. He is accompanied by an anxious
Bonno.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Mozart! Herr Mozart, may I have a
word with you please. Right away.

MOZART
Certainly, Herr Director.

He signals to the cast to break off.

MOZART
Five minutes, please!

The company disperses, curious. The musicians look at Orsini-
Rosenberg.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Did you not know that His Majesty
has expressly forbidden ballet in
his operas?

MOZART
Yes, but this is not a ballet. This
is a dance at Figaro's wedding.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Exactly. A dance.

MOZART
But surely the Emperor didn't mean
to prohibit dancing when it's part
of the story.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
It is dangerous for you to interpret
His Majesty's edicts. Give me your
score, please.

Mozart hands him the score from which he is conducting.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Thank you.

He rips out a page. Bonno watches in terror.

MOZART
What are you doing?

He rips out three more.

MOZART
What are you doing, Herr Director?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Taking out what you should never
have put in.

He goes on tearing the pages determinedly.

CUT TO:

INT. SALIERI'S SALON - DAY - 1780'S

A servant opens the door to announce.

SERVANT
Herr Mozart.

Mozart brushes past him straight towards Salieri, who rises
to greet him. The little man is near hysterics.

MOZART
Please! Please. I've no one else to
turn to. Please!

He grabs Salieri.

SALIERI
Wolfgang, what is it? Sta calmo, per
favore. What's the matter?

MOZART
It's unbelievable! The Director has
actually ripped out a huge section
of my music. Pages of it.

SALIERI
Really? Why?

MOZART
I don't know. They say I've got to
re-write the opera, but it's perfect
as it is. I can't rewrite what's
perfect. Can't you talk to him?

SALIERI
Why bother with Orsini-Rosenberg?
He's obviously no friend of yours.

MOZART
Oh, I could kill him! I mean really
kill him. I actually threw the entire
opera on the fire, he made me so
angry!

SALIERI
You burned the score?

MOZART
Oh no! My wife took it out in time.

SALIERI
How fortunate.

MOZART
It's not fair that a man like that
has power over our work.

SALIERI
But there are those who have power
over him. I think I'll take this up
with the Emperor.

MOZART
Oh, Excellency, would you?

SALIERI
With all my heart, Mozart.

MOZART
Thank you! Oh, thank you.

He kisses Salieri's hand.

SALIERI
(withdrawing it;
imitating the Emperor)
No, no, no, Herr Mozart, please.
It's not a holy relic.

Mozart giggles with relief and gratitude.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

OLD SALIERI
I'm sure I don't need to tell you I
said nothing whatever to the Emperor.
I went to the theatre ready to tell
Mozart that His Majesty had flown
into a rage when I mentioned the
ballet, when suddenly, to my
astonishment, in the middle of the
third act, the Emperor - who never
attended rehearsals - suddenly
appeared.

INT. OPERA HOUSE - DAY - 1780'S

In the background the same recitativo before the March. The
Emperor steals in surreptitiously with Von Strack, his finger
to his lips. He motions everyone not to rise, and slips into
a chair behind Salieri, Orsini-Rosenberg and Bonno.

The three conspirators look at each other wide-eyed.

The recitativo summons up the march, but instead there is
silence. Mozart lays down his baton. The musicians lay down
their instruments. The celebrants of Figaro's wedding come
in with a few pitiful dance steps, in procession, only to
come presently to a halt, lacking their music. The singers
try to go on singing, but they have no cues from their
conductor or from the accompaniment. Everyone on stage looks
lost, though they attempt to go on with the story for a while.
Consternation grows on the faces of the conspirators. Mozart
glances back at the group seated in the theatre. Finally,
the Emperor speaks, in a whisper.

JOSEPH
What is this? I don't understand.
Is it modern?

BONNO
Majesty, the Herr Director, he has
removed a balleto that would have
occurred at this place.

JOSEPH
Why?

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
It is your regulation, Sire. No ballet
in your opera.

Mozart strains to hear what they are saying but cannot.

JOSEPH
Do you like this, Salieri?

SALIERI
It is not a question of liking, Your
Majesty. Your own law decrees it,
I'm afraid.

JOSEPH
Well, look at them.

We do look at them. The spectacle on stage has now ground to
a complete halt.

JOSEPH
No, no, no! This is nonsense. Let me
hear the scene with the music.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
But, Sire -

JOSEPH
Oblige me.

Orsini-Rosenberg acknowledges his defeat.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Yes, Majesty.

Orsini-Rosenberg rises and goes down to where Mozart sits
anxiously with the musicians, watching his approach.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Can we see the scene with the music
back, please?

MOZART
Oh yes, certainly. Certainly, Herr
Director!

He looks back deliriously at Salieri, trying to indicate his
gratitude. Salieri acknowledges with a slight and subtle
nod.

Orsini-Rosenberg returns to his king.

MOZART
Ladies and gentlemen, we're going
from where we stopped. The Count:
Anches so. Right away, please!

The singers scatter offstage to begin the scene again.

JOSEPH
(to Orsini-Rosenberg)
What I hoped by that edict, Director,
was simply to prevent hours of dancing
like in French opera. There it is
endless, as you know.

ORSINI-ROSENBERG
Quite so, Majesty.

CUT BACK TO Mozart at the forte-piano, raising his hands.
The musicians raise their bows. With a flourish the happy
composer begins a reprise of the scene which had been cut
out. The music of the march begins faintly; the celebrants
of Figaro's wedding start to enter as the Count and the
Countess sit in their chairs.

In the theatre we see increasing pleasure on the Emperor's
face, sullenness and defeat on the courtiers'. Then, suddenly,
without interruption, on a crescendo repeat of the march, we

CUT TO:

INT. OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

The theatre is brilliantly lit for the first public
performance of Figaro. Everybody is there: the Emperor, Von
Strack, Bonno Orsini-Rosenberg, Von Swieten, even Madame
Weber and her daughters in a box. The musicians all wear
imperial livery; the actors on stage are now in costume.
Mozart, conducting, wears his Order of the Golden Spur. The
company wheels in and around to the music of the restored
march, which reaches a triumphant climax.

CUT TO:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

OLD SALIERI
(to Vogler)
So Figaro was produced in spite of
me. And in spite of me, a wonder was
revealed. One of the true wonders of
art. The restored third act was bold
and brilliant. The fourth was a
miracle.

The descending scale of strings in the final ensemble (Ah,
Tutti contenti. Saremo cosi) fades in.

INT. OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

We see the tableau on stage with the Count kneeling to the
Countess. All are singing.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
I saw a woman disguised in her maid's
clothes hear her husband speak the
first tender words he has offered
her in years, only because he thinks
she is someone else. I heard the
music of true forgiveness filling
the theatre, conferring on all who
sat there a perfect absolution. God
was singing through this little man
to all the world - unstoppable -
making my defeat more bitter with
each passing bar.

CU, Salieri in his box, tears on his cheeks. He watches the
ensemble and we listen to it for a long moment. Finally it
fades, but continues underneath the following:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

OLD SALIERI
And then suddenly - a miracle!

CUT BACK TO:

INT. OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

The ensemble reaches its climax, and fades away to the very
quiet, slow chords immediately preceding the boisterous final
chord. Salieri becomes aware that some of the audience are
asleep and many mare are apathetic. In the near silence we
see the Emperor yawn behind his hand. Those nearby look at
him. Orsini-Rosenberg smiles.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

OLD SALIERI
Father, did you know what that meant?
With that yawn I saw my defeat turn
into a victory. And Mozart was lucky
the Emperor only yawned once. Three
yawns and the opera would fail the
same night; two yawns, within a week
at most. With one yawn the composer
could still get -

CUT TO:

INT. SALIERI'S SALON - DAY - 1780'S

Mozart is pacing up and down. Salieri is listening
sympathetically.

MOZART
Nine performances! Nine! That's all
it's had - and withdrawn.

SALIERI
I know; it's outrageous. Still, if
the public doesn't like one's work
one has to accept the fact gracefully.

MOZART
But what is it they don't like?

SALIERI
Well, I can speak for the Emperor.
You made too many demands on the
royal ear. The poor man can't
concentrate for more than an hour
and you gave him four.

MOZART
What did you think of it yourself?
Did you like it at all?

SALIERI
I think it's marvelous. Truly.

MOZART
It's the best opera yet written. I
know it! Why didn't they come?

SALIERI
I think you overestimate our dear
Viennese, my friend. Do you know you
didn't even give them a good bang at
the end of songs so they knew when
to clap?

MOZART
I know, I know. Perhaps you should
give me some lessons in that.

SALIERI
(fuming)
I wouldn't presume. All the same, if
it wouldn't be imposing, I would
like you to see my new piece. It
would be a tremendous honour for me.

MOZART
Oh no, the honour would be all mine.

SALIERI
(bowing)
Grazie, mio caro, Wolfgang!

MOZART
Grazie, a lei, Signor Antonio!

He bows too, giggling.

CUT TO:

INT. OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

A performance of Salieri's grand opera, Axur: King of Ormus.
Deafening applause from a crowded house. We see the reception
of the aria which we saw Cavalieri singing on the stage near
the start of the film. Cavalieri, in a mythological Persian
costume, is bowing to the rapturous throng; below her is
Salieri. We see the Emperor, Von Strack, Orsini-Rosenberg,
Bonno and Von Swieten, all applauding. We hear great cries
of 'Salieri! Salieri!' and 'Bravo!' and 'Brava!'

CU, Salieri looking at the crowd with immense pleasure.
Then suddenly at:

CU, Mozart standing in a box and clapping wildly. Behind
him, seated, are Schikaneder and the three girls we saw before
in Mozart's apartment.

CU, Salieri staring fixedly at Mozart, then Mozart still
clapping, apparently with tremendous enthusiasm.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
What was this? I never saw him excited
before by any music but his own.
Could he mean it?

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

OLD SALIERI
(to Vogler)
Would he actually tell me my music
had moved him? Was I really going to
hear that from his own lips? I found
myself actually hurrying the tempo
of the finale.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

Salieri conducting the last scene from Axur: King of Ormus.
On stage we see a big scene of acclamation: the hero and
heroine of the opera accepting the crown amidst the rejoicing
of the people. The decor and costumes are mythological
Persian. The music is utterly conventional and totally
uninventive.

CU, Mozart watching this in his box, with Schikaneder and
the three actresses. He passes an open bottle of wine to
them. He is evidently a little drunk, but keeps a poker face.

The act comes to an end. Great applause in which Mozart joins
in, standing and shouting 'Bravo! Bravo!' Then he leaves the
box with Schikaneder and the girls.

INT. CORRIDOR OF THE OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

MOZART
(to Schikaneder)
Well?

SCHIKANEDER
(mock moved)
Sublime! Utterly sublime!

MOZART
That kind of music should be
punishable by death.

Schikaneder laughs.

CUT TO:

INT. STAGE OF THE OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

A crowd of people rings Salieri at a respectful distance.
The Emperor is holding out the Civilian Medal and Chain.

JOSEPH
I believe that is the best opera yet
written, my friends. Salieri, you
are the brightest star in the musical
firmament. You do honour to Vienna
and to me.

Salieri bows his head. Joseph places the chain around his
neck. The crowd claps. Salieri makes to kiss his hand, but
Joseph restrains him, and passes on. Cavalieri, smiling
adoringly, gives him a deep curtsey, and he raises her up.

The crowd all flock to Salieri with cries and words of
approval. All want to shake his hand. They tug and pat him.
But he has eyes for only one man - he looks about him,
searching for him and then finds him. Mozart stands there.
Eagerly Salieri moves to him.

SALIERI
Mozart. It was good of you to come.

MOZART
How could I not?

SALIERI
Did my work please you?

MOZART
How could it not, Excellency?

SALIERI
Yes?

MOZART
I never knew that music like that
was possible.

SALIERI
You flatter me.

MOZART
Oh no! One hears such sounds and
what can one say, but - Salieri!

Salieri smiles.

CUT TO:

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1780'S

Explosive laughter as Mozart and Schikaneder enter the
apartment, very pleased with themselves and accompanied by
the three actresses. The front door opens, very gingerly.
Mozart, still rather drunk, sticks his head into the room,
anxious not to make a noise. He sees the strangers and breaks
into a smile.

MOZART
Oh. Everybody's here! We've got
guests. Good. I've brought some more.

He opens the door wide to admit Schikaneder and the girls.

MOZART
We'll have a little party. Come in.
Come in. You know Herr Schikaneder?
(to a girl)
This is! a very nice girl.

CONSTANZE
(standing up)
Wolfi.

MOZART
Yes, my love?

CONSTANZE
These gentlemen are from Salzburg.

MOZART
Salzburg. We were just talking about
Salzburg.
(to the two men,
jubilantly)
If you've come from my friend the
Fartsbishop, you've arrived at just
the right moment. Because I've got
good news for him. I'm done with
Vienna. It's over, finished, done
with! Done with! Done with!

CONSTANZE
Wolfi! Your father is dead.

MOZART
What?

CONSTANZE
Your father is dead.

The first loud chord of the Statue scene from Don Giovanni
sounds. Mozart stares.

INT. AN OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

The second chord sounds. On stage we see the huge figure of
the Commendatore in robes and helmet, extending his arms and
pointing in accusation.

INT. AN OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

The second chord sounds.

On stage we see a huge nailed fist crash through the wall of
a painted dining room set. The giant armoured statue of the
COMMENDATORE enters pointing his finger in accusation at Don
Giovanni who sits at the supper table, staring - his servant
Leporello quaking with fear under the table.

THE COMMENDATORE
(singing)
Don Giovanni!

The figure advances on the libertine. We see Mozart
conducting, pale and deeply involved. Music fades down a
little.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
So rose the dreadful ghost in his
next and blackest opera. There on
the stage stood the figure of a dead
commander calling out 'Repent!
Repent!'

The music swells. We see Salieri standing alone in the back
of a box, unseen, in semi-darkness. We also see that the
theatre is only half full. Music fades down.

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
And I knew - only I understood -
that the horrifying apparition was
Leopold, raised from the dead.
Wolfgang had actually summoned up
his own father to accuse his son
before all the world. It was
terrifying and wonderful to watch.

Music swells up again. We watch the scene on stage as the
Commendatore addresses Giovanni. Then back to Salieri in the
box. Music down again.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

OLD SALIERI
Now a madness began in me. The madness
of a man splitting in half. Through
my influence I saw to it Don Giovanni
was played only five times in Vienna.
But in secret I went to every one of
those five - all alone - unable to
help myself, worshipping sound I
alone seemed to hear.

INT. AN OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT - 1780'S

OLD SALIERI (V.O.)
And hour after hour, as I stood there,
understanding even more clearly how
that bitter old man was still
possessing his poor son from beyond
the grave, I began to see a way - a
terrible way - I could finally triumph
over God, my torturer.

Music swells. On stage Don Giovanni is seized and gripped by
the Statue's icy hand. Flames burst from obviously artificial
rocks. Demons appear and drag the libertine down to Hell.
The scene ends.

CU, Salieri, staring wide-eyed.

CUT TO:

EXT. SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - VIENNA - NIGHT - 1780'S

We see huge and attractive posters and billboards advertising
Schikaneder's troupe. The camera concentrates on the one
which reads as follows:

EMMANUEL SCHIKANEDER
Impresario de luxe
PRESENTS
The Celebrated
SCHIKANEDER TROUPE OF PLAYERS
IN
An Evening of
PARODY
Music! Mirth! Magic!
ALL SONGS AND SPEECHES WRITTEN
BY
EMMANUEL SCHIKANEDER
who personally will appear in every scene!

CUT TO:

INT. SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - NIGHT - 1780'S

Noise; smoke; the audience is sitting at tables for an evening
of vaudeville. Mozart, Constanze and their son Karl, now
about two years old, and sitting on his mother's lap, are
watching a parody scene by Schikaneder's troupe. They are
rowdy, bawdy and silly, incorporating motifs, situations and
tunes from Mozart's operas which we have seen and heard.
Before them on the table are bottles of wine and beer, plates
of sausages, etc.

THE PARODY

On stage we see a set which parodies the dining room in Don
Giovanni's palace, shown before.

Schikaneder as Don Giovanni is dancing with the three
actresses to the minuet from Don Giovanni (end of Act I),
played by a quartet of tipsy musicians. Leporello is handing
around wine on a tray.

Suddenly there is a tremendous knocking from outside. The
music slithers to a stop. All look at each other in panic.
Leporello drops his tray with a crash. All go quiet. One
more knock is heard. Then all musicians, actresses, Don
Giovanni and Leporello make a dash to hide under the table
which is far too small to accommodate them all. The table
rocks. Schikaneder is pushed out. He is terrified. He shakes
elaborately. Three more knocks are heard; louder.

SCHIKANEDER
Who is it?

One more knock.

SCHIKANEDER
C-c-c-come in!

In the pit a chromatic scale from the Overture to Don Giovanni
turns into a anticipatory vamp. This grows more and more
menacing until the whole flat representing the wall at the
back falls down.

An absurd pantomime horse gallops in. It has a ridiculous
expression, and is manned by four men inside. Standing
precariously on its back is a dwarf, wearing a miniature
version of the armour and helmet worn by the Commendatore.
He sings in a high, nasal voice:

COMMENDATORE
(singing)
Don Giovannnnnnnnnni!

He tries to keep his balance as he trots in, but fails. He
falls off onto the stage. He beats at the horse, trying to
get back on.

COMMENDATORE
Down! Down!

Bewildered, the horse looks about him, but cannot see his
small rider who is below his level of sight.

COMMENDATORE
I'm here! I'm here!

The horse, amidst laughter from the audience, fails to locate
him. Exasperated, the dwarf signals to someone in the wings.
A tall man strides out carrying a see-saw; on his shoulders
stands another man.

The dwarf stands on the lowered end of the see-saw. There is
a drum roll and the man above jumps down onto the raised end
and the Commendatore is abruptly catapulted back onto the
horse, only backwards so that he is facing away from Don
Giovanni. The two men bow to the applauding audience, and
retire off-stage.

The Commendatore tries to extend his arms in the proper
menacing attitude, and at the same time turn around to face
Don Giovanni. This he finds difficult.

COMMENDATORE
(singing)
Don Giovannnnnnnni!

SCHIKANEDER
Who the devil are you? What do you
want?

COMMENDATORE
(singing)
I've come to dinnnnnner!

SCHIKANEDER
Dinner? How dare you? I am a nobleman.
I only dine with people of my own
height.

COMMENDATORE
Are you drunk? You invited me. And
my horse. Here he is. Ottavio!

The horse takes a bow. The dwarf almost falls off again.

COMMENDATORE
Whoa! Whoa! Stop it!

The three girls rush to his aid and reach him just in time.
They sing in the manner of the Tree Ladies later to be put
into The Magic Flute.

FIRST LADY
(running and singing)
Be careful!

SECOND LADY
(running and singing)
Be careful!

THIRD LADY
(running and singing)
Be careful!

ALL THREE TOGETHER
(close harmony)
Hold tight now!

They grab him.

COMMENDATORE
(angry)
Leave me alone! Stop it! I'm a famous
horseman.

OTTAVIO
And I'm a famous horse!

He gives the ladies a radiant smile. The three ladies sing,
as before, in close harmony.

FIRST LADY
(singing)
He's adorable!

SECOND LADY
(singing)
Adorable!

THIRD LADY
(singing)
Adorable!

An orchestral chord. The three ladies turn to Ottavio and
sing to him.

THREE LADIES
(singing together)
Give me your hoof, my darling, And
I'll give you my heart! Take me to
your stable, And never more we'll
part!

OTTAVIO
(singing: four male
voices)
I'm shy and very bashful. I don't
know what to say.

THREE LADIES
(singing together)
Don't hesitate a second. Just answer
yes and neigh.

Ottavio neighs loudly, and runs at the girls.

COMMENDATORE
(speaking)
Stop it. What are you doing? Remember
who you are! You're a horse and they
are whores.

Boos from the audience.

SCHIKANEDER
(speaking)
This is ridiculous. I won't have any
of it. You're turning my house into
a circus!

A trapeze sails in from above. On it stands a grand soprano
wearing an elaborate Turkish costume, like a parody of
Cavalieri's in Il Seraglio. She comes in singing a mad
coloratura scale in the manner of Martern aller Arten.

SCHIKANEDER
(speaking)
Shut up. Women, women, women! I'm
sick to death of them.

He marches off stage.

SOPRANO
(singing dramatically)
Dash me! Bash me! Lash me! Flay me!
Slay me! At last I will be freed by
death!

COMMENDATORE
Shut up.

SOPRANO
(swinging and singing)
Kill me! Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!
At last I shall be freed by death.
At last I shall be freed by dea -

The Commendatore pulls out his sword, reaches up and thrusts
her through with it. The soprano collapses on the bar of the
trapeze. The audience applauds. At the same moment eight
dwarves march in bearing a huge cauldron of steaming water.
They sing as they march to the sound of the march that was
cut from Act III of Figaro. They are dressed as miniature
copies of the chorus in that scene except that they are
wearing cooks' hats.

EIGHT DWARVES
(singing)
We're going to make a soprano stew!
We're going to make a soprano stew!
And when you make a soprano stew!
Any stupid soprano will do! Any stew-
stew-stew-stew-stew! Any stewpid
soprano will do!

They set the giant pot down in the middle of the stage. The
trapeze with the dead soprano is still swinging above the
stage.

We hear the chromatic scale from the Don Giovanni overture
again, repeated and repeated, only now fast and tremolando.
To this exciting vamp Schikaneder suddenly rides in on a
real horse, waving a real sword. With this he cuts the string
of the trapeze, and the soprano falls into the pot. A
tremendous splash of water. Schikaneder rides out. More
applause.

All the dwarves produce long wooden cooking spoons and climb
up the sides of the pot. The three girls produce labeled
bottles from under their skirts. The first is SALT.

FIRST LADY
(singing)
Behold!

PEPPER

SECOND LADY
(singing)
Behold!

She sneezes.

AND SCHNAPPS

THIRD LADY
(singing)
Behold!

She hiccups.

They throw them into the pot.

COMMENDATORE
(speaking to the
dwarves)
How long does it take to cook a
soprano?

DWARVES
(all together)
Five hours, five minutes, five
seconds.

COMMENDATORE
(speaking)
I can't wait that long. I'm starving!

OTTAVIO
(speaking; four voices)
So am I.

Schikaneder marches in as Figaro.

SCHIKANEDER
(singing to the tune
of Non piu ante)
In the pot, I have got a good dinner.
Not a sausage or stew, but a singer.
Not a sausage or stew but a singer.
Is the treat that I'll eat for my
meat!

COMMENDATORE
Oh shut up. I'm sick to death of
that tune.

CU, Mozart laughing delightedly with the audience.

THE THREE GIRLS
(singing again to the
horse)
Give me your hoof, my darling, and
I'll give you my heart.

COMMENDATORE
Shut up. I'm sick of that one too.

All the dwarves climb up the rim of the pot. As they climb,
they all hum together the opening of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

COMMENDATORE
And that one, too!

The soprano rises, dripping with water in the middle of the
pot.

SOPRANO
(singing)
Oil me! Broil me! Boil me!

All the dwarves beat her back down into the pot with their
long wooden spoons.

SOPRANO
(from inside the pot)
Soil me! Foil me! Spoil me!

HORSE
I can't eat her. Sopranos give me
hiccups. I want some hay!

FIRST LADY
(singing to Schikaneder)
Hey!

SECOND LADY
(singing to Schikaneder)
Hey!

THIRD LADY
(singing to Schikaneder)
Hey!

SCHIKANEDER
Hey what?

ALL THREE LADIES
(singing to La oi
daram)
Give him some hay, my darling, and
I'll give you my heart!

COMMENDATORE
Shut up.

SCHIKANEDER
Leporello! We want some hay -
prestissimo! Leporello - where are
you?

The table is raised in the air by Leporello sitting under it
on a bale of hay.

FIRST LADY
(singing to horse)
Behold!

SECOND LADY
(singing to horse)
Behold!

THIRD LADY
(singing to horse)
Behold!

Ottavio the horse gives a piercing neigh and runs down to
the hay.

COMMENDATORE
(holding on)
Hey! Hey! Watch out!

The vamp starts again vigorously. The horse's rear-end swings
around on a hinge to turn his hind-quarters straight on to
the audience. The rest of him stays sideways. His tail springs
up in the air to reveal a lace handkerchief modestly hiding
his arsehole.

Schikaneder offers him a handful of hay. The horse eats it,
and out the other end comes a long Viennese sausage. The
audience roars with laughter. Another handful of hay and out
of the other end falls a string of sausages. Then a large
pie, crust and all. Then a shower of iced cakes!

Suddenly - silence. Schikaneder produces an egg from his
pocket. Ottavio the horse rears up in disgust.

COMMENDATORE
Whoa! Whoa, Ottavio! Whoa!

Leporello pries open the horse's mouth. Schikaneder pops the
egg into it. A breathless pause as a drum roll builds the
tension, up and up and up, and then suddenly out of the
horse's rear-end flies a single white dove.

Wild applause.

It flies into the audience. Immediately all the cast start
humming the lyrical finale from Figaro: Tutti Contenti.
More and more doves fly out from the wings and fill the
theatre. Everybody picks up the sausages and cakes and begins
to eat. The end of the sketch is unexpectedly lyrical and
magical, and then, suddenly, the tempo changes and the coarse
strains of Ich Mochte wohl Der Kaiser take over and the whole
company is dancing, frantically. A general dance as the
curtain falls.

It rises immediately. The audience - including Mozart - is
delighted. They applaud vigorously. Schikaneder takes a bow
amongst his troupe. Among much whistling and clapping, he
finally jumps off the stage and strides through the audience
toward the table where Mozart sits with his family. On stage,
a troupe of bag pipers immediately appears to play an old
German tune. Some of the audience joins in singing it.

SCHIKANEDER
Well, how do you like that?

Mozart is smiling; he has been amused. Constanze has been
less amused and is looking apprehensive.

MOZART
Wonderful!
(indicating his baby
son)
He liked the monkey, didn't you?

SCHIKANEDER
Yes, well, it's all good fun.

MOZART
I liked the horse.

Schikaneder sits at the table, and drinks from a bottle of
wine.

SCHIKANEDER
Isn't he marvelous? He cost me a
bundle, that horse, but he's worth
it. I tell you, if you'd played Don
Giovanni here it would have been a
great success. I'm not joking. These
people aren't fools. You could do
something marvelous for them.

MOZART
I'd like to try them someday. I'm
not sure I'd be much good at it.

SCHIKANEDER
'Course you would. You belong here,
my boy, not the snobby Court. You
could do anything you felt like here -
the more fantastic the better! That's
what people want, you know: fantasy.
You do a big production, fill it
with beautiful magic tricks and you'll
be absolutely free to do anything
you want. Of course, you'd have to
put a fire in it, because I've got
the best fire machine in the city
and a big flood - I can do you the
finest water effects you ever saw in
your life. Oh, and a few trick
animals. You'd have to use those.

MOZART
Animals?

SCHIKANEDER
I tell you I picked up a snake in
Dresden last week - twelve foot long -
folds up to six inches, just like a
paper fan. It's a miracle.

Mozart laughs.

SCHIKANEDER
I'm serious. You write a proper part
for me with a couple of catchy songs,
I'll guarantee you'll have a triumph-
de-luxe. Mind you, it'll have to be
in German.

MOZART
German!

SCHIKANEDER
Of course! What else do you think
they speak here?

MOZART
No, no, I love that. I'd want it to
be in German. I haven't done anything
in German since Seraglio.

SCHIKANEDER
So there you are. What do you say?

CONSTANZE
How much will you pay him?

SCHIKANEDER
Ah. Well. Ah,
(to Mozart)
I see you've got your manager with
you. Well, Madame, how about half
the receipts?

MOZART
Half the receipts! Stanzi!

CONSTANZE
I'm talking about now. How much will
you give him now? Down payment?

SCHIKANEDER
Down payment? Who do you think I am?
The Emperor? Whoops, I have to go.

He rises in haste for his next number.

SCHIKANEDER
Stay where you are. You're going to
like this next one. We'll speak again.
Triumph-de-luxe, my boy!

He winks at Mozart and disappears toward the stage. Mozart
looks after him, enchanted.

CONSTANZE
You're not going to do this?

MOZART
Why not? Half the house!

CONSTANZE
When? We need money now. Either he
pays now, or you don't do it.

MOZART
Oh, Stanzi.

CONSTANZE
I don't trust this man. And I didn't
like what he did with your opera.
It was common.

MOZART
(to Karl)
Well, you liked it, didn't you?
Monkey-flunki-punki.

CONSTANZE
Half the house! You'll never see a
penny. I want it here, in my hand.

MOZART
(dirty)
Stanzi-manzi, I'll put it in your
hand!

CONSTANZE
Shut up! I'll not let you put anything
in my hand until I see some money.

He giggles like a child.

CUT TO:

INT. SCHLUMBERG HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY 1780'S

Dogs are barking wickedly. Michael Schlumberg comes in from
his salon. Mozart stands there looking very unwell and
bewildered. He is also drunk, but making a careful attempt
to keep his composure.

SCHLUMBERG
Herr Mozart. What a surprise. What
can I do for you?

MOZART
Is my pupil still anxious to learn
the art of music?

SCHLUMBERG
Well, your pupil is married and living
in Mannheim, young man.

MOZART
Really? Perhaps your dear wife might
care to profit from my instruction?

SCHLUMBERG
What is this, Mozart? What's the
matter with you?

MOZART
Well. Since it appears nobody is
eager to hire my services, could you
favour me with a little money instead?

SCHLUMBERG
What for?

MOZART
If a man cannot earn, he must borrow.

SCHLUMBERG
Well, this is hardly the way to go
about it.

MOZART
No doubt, sir. But I am endowed with
talent, and you with money. If I
offer mine, you should offer yours.

Pause.

SCHLUMBERG
I'm sorry. No.

MOZART
Please. I'll give it back, I promise.
Please, sir.

SCHLUMBERG
My answer is no, Mozart.

CU, Mozart. His voice becomes mechanical.

MOZART
Please. Please. Please. Please.
Please. Please.

CUT TO:

INT. THE IMPERIAL LIBRARY - DAY - 1790'S

Von Swieten and Salieri stand close together. Several scholars
and students are examining scrolls and manuscripts at the
other end of the room.

VON SWIETEN
(keeping his voice
down)
This is embarrassing, you know. You
introduced Mozart to some of my
friends and he's begging from
practically all of them. It has to
stop.

SALIERI
I agree, Baron.

VON SWIETEN
Can't you think of anyone who might
commission some work from him? I've
done my best. I got him to arrange
some Bach for my Sunday concerts. He
got a fee - what I could afford.
Can't you think of anyone who might
do something for him?

SALIERI
No, Baron, no. I'm afraid Mozart is
a lost cause. He has managed to
alienate practically the whole of
Vienna. He is constantly drunk. He
never pays his debts. I can't think
of one person to whom I dare recommend
him.

VON SWIETEN
How sad. It's tragic, isn't it?
Such a talent.

SALIERI
Indeed. Just a moment - as a matter
of fact I think I do know someone
who could commission a work from
him. A very appropriate person to do
so. Yes.

The opening measures of the Piano Concerto in D Minor steal
in.

CUT TO:

INT. THE COSTUME SHOP - VIENNA - DAY - 1790'S

This is exactly the same shop which Mozart and Constanze
visited with Leopold. Now Salieri's servant stands in it,
waiting. We see a few other customers being served by the
staff: renting masks, costumes, etc. One of the staff emerges
from the back of the shop carrying a large box, which he
hands to Salieri's servant. The servant leaves the shop.
Through the window we see him hurrying away through the snowy
street full of passers-by, carriages, etc.

INT. SALIERI'S APARTMENT - DUSK - 1790'S

The D Minor Concerto continues. Salieri, alone, eagerly opens
the box from the costume shop and takes out the same dark
cloak and hat that Leopold wore to the masquerade, only now
attached to the hat is a dark mask whose mouth is cut into a
frown, not a laugh. It presents a bitter and menacing
expression. He puts on the cloak, the hat and the mask and
turns his back. Suddenly we see the assembled and alarming
image reflected in a full-length mirror. The music swells
darkly.

CUT TO:

EXT. A SNOWY STREET IN VIENNA - DUSK - 1790'S

As the tutti of the D Minor Concerto continues, we see
Salieri, dressed in this menacing costume, dark against the
snow, stalking through a street which is otherwise lively
with people going to various festivities. Some of them wear
frivolous carnival clothes.

INT. MOZART'S LIVING ROOM - DUSK - 1790'S

Mozart sits writing at a table. He appears now to be really
quite sick. His face expresses pain from his stomach cramps.
There is a gentle knock at the door. He rises, goes to he
door and opens it. Immediately there is a SHOCK CUT:

The dark, frowning mask stares at him and at us. The violent
D Minor chord which opens Don Giovanni is heard. Salieri in
costume stands in the doorway.

SALIERI
Herr Mozart?

The second chord sounds and fades. Mozart stares in panic.

SALIERI
I have come to commission work from
you.

MOZART
What work?

SALIERI
A Mass for the dead.

MOZART
What dead? Who is dead?

SALIERI
A man who deserved a Requiem Mass
and never got one.

MOZART
Who are you?

SALIERI
I am only a messenger. Do you accept?
You will be paid well.

MOZART
How much?

Salieri extends his hand. In it is a bag of money.

SALIERI
Fifty ducats. Another fifty when I
have the Mass. Do you accept?

Almost against his will, Mozart takes the money.

MOZART
How long will you give me?

SALIERI
Work fast. And be sure to tell no
one what you do. You will see me
again soon.

He turns away. Mozart closes the front door. Instantly we
hear the opening of the Requiem Mass (also in D Minor).
Mozart turns and looks up at the portrait of his father on
the wall. The portrait stares back. Constanze opens the door
from the bedroom. She sees him staring up.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi? Wolfi!

He looks at her with startled eyes. The music breaks off.

CONSTANZE
Who was that?

MOZART
No one.

CONSTANZE
I heard voices.

He gives a strange little giggle.

CONSTANZE
What's the matter?

She sees the bag of money.

CONSTANZE
What's that? Oh!
(pouncing on it)
Who gave you this? How much is it?
Wolfi, who gave you this?

MOZART
I'm not telling you.

CONSTANZE
Why not?

MOZART
You'd think I was mad.

He stares at her. She stares at him.

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT - 1823

Old Salieri is now wildly animated, totally driven by his
confession to Vogler.

OLD SALIERI
My plan was so simple, it terrified
me. First I must get the Death Mass
and then achieve the death.

Vogler stares at him in horror.

VOGLER
What?

OLD SALIERI
His funeral - imagine it! The
Cathedral, all Vienna sitting there.
His coffin, Mozart's little coffin
in the middle. And suddenly in that
silence, music. A divine music bursts
out over them all, a great Mass of
Death: Requiem Mass for Wolfgang
Mozart, composed by his devoted friend
Antonio Salieri. What sublimity!
What depth! What passion in the music!
Salieri has been touched by God at
last. And God, forced to listen.
Powerless - powerless to stop it. I
at the end, for once, laughing at
Him. Do you understand? Do you?

VOGLER
Yes.

OLD SALIERI
The only thing that worried me was
the actual killing. How does one do
that? How does one kill a man? It's
one thing to dream about it. It's
very different when you have to do
it, with your own hands.

He raises his own hands and stares at them. The raging Dies
Irae from Mozart's Requiem Mass bursts upon us.

CUT TO:

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

Mozart sits working frantically at this demonic music. His
whole expression is one of wildness and engulfing fever. He
pours wine down his throat, spilling it, and grimaces as it
hits his stomach. All around him are manuscripts.

There is a banging at the front door. Mozart does not hear
it; the music raves on. Another knocking comes, louder.
Constanze appears from the bedroom and stares at her
distracted husband. The knocking is repeated again, even
more violently and insistently.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi. Wolfi!

He looks at her. The music breaks off. Silence. An enormous
bang at the door startles him.

Constanze moves to open it.

MOZART
No. Don't answer it!

CONSTANZE
Why?

Mozart springs up. He is clearly terrified.

MOZART
Tell him I'm not here. Tell him I'm
working on it. Come back later.

He runs out of he room, into his workroom, and shuts he door.
Now a little scared herself, Constanze goes to he front door
and opens it cautiously. Schikaneder stands there, floridly
dressed as usual. Lorl is seen peeking out from the kitchen.

SCHIKANEDER
Am I interrupting something?

CONSTANZE
Not at all.

SCHIKANEDER
(peering into he room)
Where's our friend?

CONSTANZE
He's not in. But he's working on it.
He said to tell you.

SCHIKANEDER
I hope so. I need it immediately.

He pushes her into the room.

SCHIKANEDER
Is he happy with it?

He sees he manuscript on the table, and goes to it eagerly.

SCHIKANEDER
Is this it?

He picks up a page without waiting for a reply.

SCHIKANEDER
What the devil is this? Requiem Mass?
Does he think I'm in the funeral
business?

Mozart opens he workroom door. We see him as Schikaneder
sees him: wild-eyed, extremely pale and strange.

MOZART
Leave that alone!

SCHIKANEDER
Wolfi!

MOZART
Put it down!

SCHIKANEDER
What is this?

MOZART
Put it down, I said! It's nothing
for you.

SCHIKANEDER
Oh! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! What have
you got for me? Is it finished?

MOZART
What?

SCHIKANEDER
What? The vaudeville, what'd you
think?

MOZART
Yes.

SCHIKANEDER
Can I see it?

MOZART
No.

SCHIKANEDER
Why not?

MOZART
Because there's nothing to see.

He giggles triumphantly. Schikaneder stares at him.

SCHIKANEDER
Look, I asked you if we could start
rehearsal next week and you said
yes.

MOZART
Well, we can.

SCHIKANEDER
So let me see it. Where is it?

Mozart, with a bright, rather demented smile presents his
head to Schikaneder.

MOZART
Here. It's all right here, in my
noodle. The rest is just scribbling.
Scribbling and bibbling. Bibbling
and scribbling. Would you like a
drink?

He giggles. Schikaneder suddenly grabs his lapels.

SCHIKANEDER
Look, you little clown, do you know
how many people I've hired for you?
Do you know how many people are
waiting?

CONSTANZE
Leave him alone!

SCHIKANEDER
I'm paying these people. Do you
realize that?

CONSTANZE
He's doing his best.

SCHIKANEDER
I'm paying people just to wait for
you. It's ridiculous!

CONSTANZE
You know what's ridiculous? Your
libretto, that's what's ridiculous.
Only an idiot would ask Wolfi to
work on that stuff!

SCHIKANEDER
Oh yes? And what's so intelligent
about writing a Requiem?

CONSTANZE
Money! Money!

SCHIKANEDER
You're mad! She's mad, Wolfi.

CONSTANZE
Oh yes, and who are you? He's worked
for Kings. For the Emperor.
(shouting)
Who are you?

Schikaneder suddenly takes Mozart by the arms, and speaks to
him with intense appeal.

SCHIKANEDER
Listen, Wolfi. Write it. Please.
Just write it down. On paper. It's
no good to anyone in your head. And
fuck the Death Mass.

INT. SALIERI'S SALON - DAY - 1790'S

A frightened and tearful Lorl sits before Salieri.

SALIERI
Now calm yourself. Calm. What's the
matter with you?

LORL
I'm leaving. I'm not working there
anymore. I'm scared!

SALIERI
Why? What has happened?

LORL
You don't know what it's like. Herr
Mozart frightens me. He drinks all
day, then takes all that medicine
and it makes him worse.

SALIERI
What medicine?

LORL
I don't know. He has pains.

SALIERI
Where?

LORL
Here, in his stomach. They bend him
right over.

SALIERI
Is he working?

LORL
I'm frightened, sir. Really! When he
speaks, he doesn't make any sense.
You know he said he saw - he said he
saw his father. And his father's
dead.

SALIERI
Is he working?

LORL
I suppose so. He sits there all he
time, doing some silly opera.

SALIERI
(startled)
Opera? Opera!

LORL
Please don't ask me to go back again.
I'm frightened! I'm very, very
frightened.

SALIERI
(insistently)
Are you sure it's an opera?

The Overture to The Magic Flute begins grandly. To the music
of the slow introduction, we see:

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

The room, lit by a few candles, appears dirty. The camera
shows us again Leopold's portrait on the wall, looking down
upon a scene of disorder.

Papers litter the table; dirty dishes are piled in the
fireplace; on the forte-piano lies Mozart's Masonic apron,
woven with symbols. To the more lyrical passage of the
introduction, we see Mozart take up a candle and enter:

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

We watch him stand beside Constanze, who lies asleep. Mozart
now looks very ill; his wife appears worn out. Tenderly he
touches her hair. Then he moves to the cot where his son
Karl lies asleep and kneels, pulls up the child's little
blanket and for a moment lays his own head down beside the
boy's. Constanze opens her eyes and stares at him. Mozart
rises and returns to:

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

The Introduction ends and suddenly the brilliant fast fugue
begins. Instantly Mozart starts to dance to it, all alone:
gleefully, like a child. He looks up at his father's portrait,
and makes a silly, rude gesture at it. He is, briefly, an
irresponsible and happy boy again.

Then suddenly there is a gentle knocking at the door. The
music fades down. Warily, Mozart crosses and opens he door.
The familiar dark chords from Don Giovanni cut across the
happy music. It ends. Before him stands the masked stranger.

MOZART
I don't have it yet. It's not
finished. I'm sorry, but I need more
time.

SALIERI
Are you neglecting my request?

MOZART
No, no! I promise you, I'll give you
a wonderful piece - the best I ever
can!

He turns and looks. Constanze has come into the living room.
Nervously, Mozart indicates her.

MOZART
This is my wife, Stanzi. I've been
sick, but I'm all right now. Aren't
I?

CONSTANZE
Oh yes, sir. He's all right. And
he's working on it very hard.

MOZART
Give me two more weeks. Please.

Salieri contemplates them both.

SALIERI
The sooner you finish, the better
your reward. Work!

He turns and goes down the stairs. Mozart shuts the door; he
closes his eyes in fear.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi, I think you really are going
mad. You work like a slave for that
idiot actor who won't give you a
penny and here. This is not a ghost!
This is a real man who puts down
real money. Why on earth don't you
finish it?

He will not look at her or reply.

CONSTANZE
Give me one reason I can understand.

MOZART
I can't write it!

CONSTANZE
Why not?

MOZART
It's killing me.

He looks at her suddenly.

CONSTANZE
No, this is really awful. You're
drunk, aren't you? Be honest - tell
me - you've been drinking. And I'm
so stupid I stay here and listen to
you!

Suddenly she starts to cry.

CONSTANZE
It's not fair! I worry about you all
the time. I try to help you all I
can and you just drink and talk
nonsense and - and frighten me! It's
not fair!

Her tears flow. Mozart looks at her helplessly.

MOZART
Go back to bed.

CONSTANZE
Please! Let me sit here. Let me stay
here with you. I promise I won't say
all word. I'll just be here, so you
know no one's going to hurt you.
Please, please!

She sits down tearfully, staring at him.

We hear the Rex Tremendai Majestatis from the Requiem and
see on the wall the portrait of Leopold Mozart looking down.
The camera pans slowly downward from it back to the table.
Mozart is writing the music. He looks up and sees that
Constanze is fast asleep in her chair. Mozart gets up quietly.
He puts on his hat and cloak, takes a bottle of wine and
tiptoes from the house. Without stopping, the music changes
from the heavy Requiem to the light-hearted patter of the
Papa-Papa duet from The Magic Flute.

CUT TO:

INT. SCHIKANEDER'S SUMMER HOUSE - NIGHT - 1790'S

This little wooden structure stands in a courtyard in the
tenement by the Weiden. Inside, we see a table, chairs, a
forte-piano, bottles and a chaos of papers. Strewn about in
the chairs are the three actresses, giggling. Schikaneder
and Mozart, both drunk, are singing the duet of the two bird-
people. The actor sings Papageno and the composer, in a
soprano voice, sings Papagena at the keyboard. Absurdly,
they end up rubbing noses and fall on each other's necks.

EXT. VIENNA STREET - NIGHT - 1790'S

Mozart, drunk and happy, staggers back through the snow.
There are a few people about. He goes into his apartment
building.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - DAY - 1790'S

He comes through he door and stares across the living room
at an open bedroom door. Puzzled, he crosses.

The bedroom is also empty. We see Constanze's empty bed;
Karl's empty bed; empty closets.

MOZART
Stanzi? Stanzi-marini-bini?

He looks about him, puzzled.

INT. FRAU WEBER'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY - 1790'S

Frau Weber sits grimly talking. Mozart sits also, completely
exhausted and passive under the rain of her constant speech.

FRAU WEBER
She's not coming back, you know.
She's gone for good. I did it and
I'm proud of it. 'Leave,' I said.
'Right away! Take he child and go,
just go. Here's the money! Go to the
Spa and get your health back - that's
if you can.' I was shocked. Shocked
to my foundation. Is that my girl?
Can that be my Stanzi? The happy
little moppet I brought up, that
poor trembling thing? Oh, you monster!
No one exists but you, do they? You
and your music! Do you know how often
she's sat in that very chair, weeping
her eyes out of her head because of
you? I warned her. 'Choose a man,
not a baby,' I said. But would she
listen? Who listens? 'He's just a
silly boy,' she says. Silly, my arse.
Selfish - that's all you are. Selfish!
Selfish, selfish, selfish, selfish,
selfish.

And with a scream Madame Weber's voice turns into the shrill
packing coloratura of the second act aria of the Queen of
the Night, in The Magic Flute.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - NIGHT - 1790'S

On stage we see the QUEEN OF THE NIGHT fantastically costumed,
furiously urging her daughter to kill Sarastro. As she sings,
we see the interior of the theatre, now re-arranged from
when we last visited it to watch the Cabaret. An audience of
ordinary German citizens stands in the pit area, or sits:
they are rapt and excited.

The theatre also possesses boxes; some of these show closed
curtains - their inhabitants presumably engaged in private
intimacies. In one of them sits Salieri.

QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
(singing furiously)
A hellish wrath within my heart is
seething! Death and destruction Flame
around my throne! If not by thee
Sarastro's light be extinguished.
Then be thou mine own daughter never
more! Rejected be forever! So sundered
be forever All the bonds of kin and
blood! Hear! Hear! Hear God of
Vengeance! Hear thy Mother's vow!

Thunder and lightning. She disappears amidst tremendous
applause from the audience.

CUT TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE THE THEATRE - NIGHT - 1790'S

On the poster for The Magic Flute, the name Emmanuel
Schikaneder should appear very, very large and the name of
Mozart quite small:

I. & R. priv. Weiden Theatre
The Actors of the Imperial and Royal
Privileged Theatre of the Weiden
Have the honour to perform
THE MAGIC FLUTE
A Grand Opera in Two Acts
By
Emmanuel Schikaneder
(The Cast List)

The music is by Herr Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Herr Mozart
out of respect for a gracious and honourable Public, and
from friendship for the author of this piece, will today
direct the orchestra in person.

The book of the opera, furnished with two copperplates, of
which is engraved Herr Schikaneder in the costume he wears
for the role of Papageno, may be had at the box office for
30 kr.

Prices of admission are as usual To begin at 7 o'clock

INT. STAGE, AUDITORIUM AND WINGS OF SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE -
NIGHT -1790'S

We CUT TO the scene immediately before Papageno's song, Ein
Madchen oder Weibchen. Papageno, played by Schikaneder,
dressed in his costume of feathers, is trying to get through
a mysterious door. A voice calls from within.

VOICE
Go back!

Papageno recoils.

PAPAGENO
Merciful Gods! If only I knew by
which door I came in.
(to audience)
Which was it? Was it this one? Come
on, tell me!

VOICE
Go back!

Papageno recoils.

PAPAGENO
Now, I can't go forward and I can't
go back. Oh, this is awful!

He weeps extravagantly.

In the pit, Mozart indicates to the first violinist to take
over as conductor. He slips from his place and goes stealthily
backstage. We follow him. Over the scene we hear Papageno
being addressed by the First Priest in stern tones.

FIRST PRIEST
(on stage)
Man, thou hast deserved to wander
forever in the darkest chasms of the
earth. The gentle Gods have remitted
thy punishment, but yet thou shalt
never feel the Divine Content of the
consecrated ones.

PAPAGENO
Oh well, I'm not alone in that. Just
give me a decent glass of wine -
that's divine content enough for me.

Laughter. An enormous goblet of wine appears out of the earth.

We follow Mozart into the wings. Actors and actresses stand
around in fantastic costumes. We see a flying chariot and
parts of a huge snake lying about. Also the scenery door of
a temple with the word 'Wisdom' inscribed on the pediment.
Mozart walks to where there stands a keyboard glockenspiel
with several manuals, and a musician waiting to play it.
Silently Mozart indicates that he wishes to play the
instrument himself.

On stage Schikaneder is being addressed haughtily by the
First Priest.

FIRST PRIEST
Man, hast thou no other desire on
earth, but just to eat and drink?

PAPAGENO
(Schikaneder)
Well!

Laughter from the audience.

PAPAGENO
Well, actually I do have a rather
weird feeling in my heart. Perhaps
it's just indigestion. But you know,
I really would like - I really do
want - something even nicer than
food and drink. Now what on earth
could that be?

He stares at the audience and winks at them. They laugh.

Now Papageno's aria (Ein Madchen oder Weibchen) begins. It
is interpolated, as he pretends to play his magic bells,
with the glockenspiel actually being played off-stage by
Mozart. Schikaneder looks into the pit and does not see Mozart
conducting. He looks into the wings and realizes the situation
with amusement. He sings joyfully and the audience watches
entranced.

ANDANTE
A sweetheart or a pretty little wife
is Papageno's wish. A willing,
billing, lovey dovey Would be My
most tasty little dish. Be my most
tasty little dish! Be my most tasty
little dish!

ALLEGRO
Then that would be eating and drinking
I'd live like a Prince without
thinking. The wisdom of old would be
mine - A woman's much better than
wine! Then that would be eating and
drinking! The wisdom of old would be
mine - A woman's much better than
wine. She's much better than wine!
She's much better than wine!

ANDANTE
(encore, lightly, as
before)
A sweetheart or a pretty little wife
is Papageno's wish. A willing,
billing, lovey dovey Would be My
most tasty little dish.

ALLEGRO
I need to net one birdie only And I
will stop feeling so lonely. But if
she won't fly to my aid, Then into a
ghost I must fade. I need to net one
birdie only But if she won't fly to
my aid, Then into a ghost I must
fade. To a ghost I must fade! To a
ghost I must fade!

ANDANTE
(encore)
A sweetheart or a pretty little wife
is Papageno's wish. A willing,
billing, lovey dovey Would be My
most tasty little dish.

ALLEGRO
At present the girls only peck me.
Their cruelty surely will wreck me.
But one little beak in my own, And
I'll up to heaven be flown! At present
the girls only peck me. But one little
beak in my own, And I'll up to heaven
be flown. Up to heaven be flown! Up
to heaven be flown!

At certain moments we see the stage from Salieri's point of
view: Schikaneder singing, then pretending to play; and then
we see Mozart playing the glockenspiel with great flourishes
in the wings. Then, suddenly, the actor mimes playing, and
no sound comes. He mimes again, but still nothing comes. He
looks offstage in anxiety; there is evidently some commotion.
People are looking down on the floor. The song comes to a
near-halt. Schikaneder stares. Then the comedian signals to
the deputy conductor to pick up the song and finish it. At
this moment Salieri gets up and hastily leaves his box.

CUT TO:

INT. WINGS OF SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - NIGHT - 1790'S

We see the actress playing Papagena, wearing an old tattered
cloak and about to tie a little painted cloth representing a
hideous old woman over her face. She is looking worriedly
down at Mozart, who is lying unconscious on the floor.

A few people around him are trying to revive him. One has
put a wet handkerchief around his temples. Another is holding
a small bottle of smelling salts. There are voices saying,
'Doctor! Take him to a dressing room. Someone call a carriage.
Take him home.' Etc. Papagena is urged to go on stage by a
distracted stage manager. Suddenly we hear the voice of
Salieri.

SALIERI
I'll take care of him.

He steps forward.

SALIERI
I have a carriage. Excuse me.

The actors step back respectfully. He stoops and picks up
the frail composer in his arms. Mozart is quite limp and
Salieri has to fling his arms around his own neck. All this
is watched nervously by Schikaneder on stage whilst performing
his scene with Papagena as an ugly old woman.

UGLY OLD WOMAN
Here I am, my angel.

PAPAGENO
(appalled)
What? Who the devil are you?

UGLY OLD WOMAN
I've taken pity on you, my angel. I
heard your wish.

PAPAGENO
Oh. Well, thank you! How wonderful.
Some people get all the luck.

Audience laughter. The actress raises the little painted
cloth with the ugly old face on it to show her own pretty
young one to the audience. More laughter.

UGLY OLD WOMAN
Now you've got to promise me
faithfully you'll remain true to me
forever. Then you'll see how tenderly
your little birdie will love you.

PAPAGENO
(nervous)
I can't wait.

UGLY OLD WOMAN
Well, promise then.

PAPAGENO
What do you mean - now?

UGLY OLD WOMAN
Of course now. Right away, before I
get any older.

Laughter.

PAPAGENO
Well, I don't know! I mean you're a
delicious, delightful, delectable
little bird, but don't you think you
might be just a little tough?

UGLY OLD WOMAN
(amorously)
Oh, I'm tender enough for you, my
boy. I'm tender enough for you.

Laughter.

EXT. SCHIKANEDER'S THEATRE - NIGHT - 1790'S

A waiting sedan chair. Mozart has recovered consciousness,
but looks exceedingly ill. Salieri has set him down in the
winter's night. Snow is falling.

MOZART
What happened? Is it over?

SALIERI
I'm taking you home. You're not well.

MOZART
No, no. I have to get back. I have -

He starts to collapse again. Salieri helps him into the sedan.
The door is shut. The chair sets off and Salieri strides
beside it, through the mean street. A lantern with a candle
swings from the chair.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

The door opens. Salieri enters carrying the lantern from the
sedan chair. He is followed by Mozart, carried in the arms
of one of the porters. The room is now really in complete
disarray. The table is piled high with music: the pages of
the Requiem lie amongst many empty wine bottles. The porter
carries Mozart into

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

This room is miserably neglected. The bed is unmade, clothes
lie about on the floor. A sock has been stuck into the broken
pane of one window.

The porter lays Mozart down on the bed as Salieri lights
candles from the lantern to reveal plates of half-eaten food
and other signs left by a man whose wife has departed. It is
obviously very cold. Another very small bed nearby belongs
to the child, Karl.

SALIERI
(handing the porter
the lantern)
Thank you. Go.

The porter leaves the room. Mozart stirs.

MOZART
(vaguely singing)
Papa! Papa!

He opens his eyes and sees Salieri staring down at him. He
smiles.

SALIERI
Come now.

He helps him to sit up and takes off his coat and his shoes
and puts a coverlet around him.

SALIERI
Where is your wife?

MOZART
Not here! She's not well, either.
She went to the Spa.

SALIERI
You mean she's not coming back?

MOZART
You're so good to me. Truly. Thank
you.

SALIERI
No, please.

MOZART
I mean to come to my opera. You are
the only colleague who did.

He struggles to loosen his cravat. Salieri does it for him.

SALIERI
I would never miss anything that you
had written. You must know that.

MOZART
This is only a vaudeville.

SALIERI
Oh no. It is a sublime piece. The
grandest operone. I tell you, you
are the greatest composer known to
me.

MOZART
Do you mean that?

SALIERI
I do.

MOZART
I have bad fancies. I don't sleep
well anymore. Then I drink too much,
and think stupid things.

SALIERI
Are you ill?

MOZART
The doctor thinks I am. But -

SALIERI
What?

MOZART
I'm too young to be so sick.

There is a violent knocking at the front door. Mozart starts
and looks around wildly.

SALIERI
Shall I answer it?

MOZART
No! No, it's him!

SALIERI
Who?

MOZART
The man. He's here.

SALIERI
What man?

The knocking increases in loudness, terrifying Mozart.

MOZART
Tell him to go away. Tell him I'm
still working on it. Don't let him
in!

Salieri moves to the door.

MOZART
Wait! Ask him if he'd give me some
money now. Tell him if he would,
that would help me finish it.

SALIERI
Finish what?

MOZART
He knows. He knows!

Salieri leaves the room.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

Salieri goes to the front door and opens it to reveal
Schikaneder, who has obviously come straight from the theatre.
He still wears his bird make-up and under his street cloak,
his feathered costume is clearly seen. He has with him the
three actresses, also looking anxious and also in make-up as
the three attendants in The Magic Flute.

SCHIKANEDER
Herr Salieri.

SALIERI
Yes, I am looking after him.

SCHIKANEDER
Can we come in?

SALIERI
Well, he's sleeping now. Better not.

SCHIKANEDER
But he's all right?

SALIERI
Oh, yes. He's just exhausted. He
became dizzy, that's all. We should
let him rest.

SCHIKANEDER
Well, tell him we were here, won't
you?

SALIERI
Of course.

SCHIKANEDER
And say everything went wonderfully.
A triumph-de-luxe - say that! Tell
him the audience shouted his name a
hundred times.

SALIERI
Bene.

SCHIKANEDER
I'll call tomorrow.

SALIERI
Yes.
(to the actresses)
And congratulations to all of you.
It was superb.

ACTRESSES
Thank you! Thank you, Excellency!

Schikaneder produces a bag of money.

SCHIKANEDER
Oh, by the way, give him this. This
is his share. That should cheer him
up, eh?

SALIERI
Yes, indeed. Goodnight to you all
now. It was perfection - truly!

ACTRESSES
(delighted)
Goodnight, Your Excellency.
Goodnight!

They bob and curtsey. Schikaneder stares at Salieri, uneasily,
vaguely suspicious. Salieri smiles back at him and shuts the
door. He stays for a moment, thinking. He contemplates the
money.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

Mozart is sitting up in bed, staring at the door. It opens.
Salieri returns. He holds in his hand the bag of money.

MOZART
What happened?

Salieri pours the coins out of the bag onto the coverlet.

SALIERI
He said to give you this. And if you
finish the work by tomorrow night,
he will pay you another hundred
ducats.

Mozart looks at the coins astonished.

MOZART
Another? But that's too soon! Tomorrow
night? It's impossible! Did he say a
hundred?

SALIERI
Yes. Can I - could I help you, in
any way?

MOZART
Would you? Actually, you could.

SALIERI
My dear friend, it would be my
greatest pleasure.

MOZART
But you'd have to swear not to tell
a soul. I'm not allowed.

SALIERI
Of course.

MOZART
You know, it's all here in my head.
It's just ready to be set down. But
when I'm dizzy like this my eyes
won't focus. I can't write.

SALIERI
Then, let us try together. I'd regard
it as such an honour. Tell me, what
is this work?

MOZART
A Mass. A Mass for the Dead.

CUT TO:

INT. A SMALL DANCE HALL - BADEN - NIGHT - 1790'S

Trivial dance music is playing. Constanze is doing a waltz
with a young OFFICER in military uniform. At the moment we
see her, she stops abruptly, as if in panic.

OFFICER
What is it?

CONSTANZE
I want to go!

OFFICER
Where?

CONSTANZE
I want to go back to Vienna.

OFFICER
Now?

CONSTANZE
Yes!

OFFICER
Why?

CONSTANZE
I feel wrong. I feel wrong being
here.

OFFICER
(laying a hand on her
arm)
What are you talking about?

CUT TO:

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

Mozart is sitting up in bed, propped against pillows. The
coins lie on the coverlet; many candles burn in the necks of
bottles. Salieri, without coat or wig, is seated at an
improvised worktable. On it are blank sheets of music paper,
quills, and ink. Also the score of the Requiem Mass as so
far composed. Mozart is bright-eyed with a kind of fever.
Salieri is also possessed with an obviously feverish desire
to put down the notes as quickly as Mozart can dictate them.

MOZART
Where did I stop?

SALIERI
(consulting the
manuscript)
The end of the Recordare - Statuens
in parte dextra.

MOZART
So now the Confutatis. Confutatis
Maledictis. When the wicked are
confounded. Flammis acribus addictis.
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 one
forever?

SALIERI
Oh, yes.

MOZART
Strange!

SALIERI
Come. Let's begin.

He takes his pen.

SALIERI
Confutatis Maledictis.

MOZART
We ended in F Major?

SALIERI
Yes.

MOZART
So now - A minor. Suddenly.

Salieri writes the key signature.

MOZART
The Fire.

SALIERI
What time?

MOZART
Common time.

Salieri writes this, and continues now to write as swiftly
and urgently as he can, at Mozart's dictation. He is obviously
highly expert at doing this and hardly hesitates. His speed,
however, can never be too fast for Mozart's impatient mind.

MOZART
Start with the voices. Basses first.
Second beat of the first measure -
A.
(singing the note)
Con-fu-ta-tis.
(speaking)
Second measure, second beat.
(singing)
Ma-le-dic-tis.
(speaking)
G-sharp, of course.

SALIERI
Yes.

MOZART
Third measure, second beat starting
on E.
(singing)
Flam-mis a-cri-bus ad-dic-tis.
(speaking)
And fourth measure, fourth beat - D.
(singing)
Ma-le-dic-tis, flam-mis a-cri-bus ad-
dic-tis.
(speaking)
Do you have that?

SALIERI
I think so.

MOZART
Sing it back.

Salieri sings back the first six measures of the bass line.
After the first two measures a chorus of basses fades in on
the soundtrack and engulfs his voice. They stop.

MOZART
Good. Now the tenors. Fourth beat of
the first measure - C.
(singing)
Con-fu-ta-tis.
(speaking)
Second measure, fourth beat on D.
(singing)
Ma-le-dic-tis.
(speaking)
All right?

SALIERI
Yes.

MOZART
Fourth measure, second beat - F.
(singing)
Flam-mis a-cri-bus ad-dic-tis, flam-
mis a-cri-bus ad-dic-tis.

His voice is lost on the last words, as tenors engulf it and
take over the soundtrack, singing their whole line from the
beginning, right to the end of the sixth measure where the
basses stopped, but he goes on mouthing the sounds with them.
Salieri writes feverishly. We see his pen jotting down the
notes as quickly as possible: the ink flicks onto the page.
The music stops again.

MOZART
Now the orchestra. Second bassoon
and bass trombone with the basses.
Identical notes and rhythm.
(He hurriedly hums
the opening notes of
the bass vocal line)
The first bassoon and tenor trombone -

SALIERI
(labouring to keep up)
Please! Just one moment.

Mozart glares at him, irritated. His hands move impatiently.
Salieri scribbles frantically.

MOZART
It couldn't be simpler.

SALIERI
(finishing)
First bassoon and tenor trombone -
what?

MOZART
With the tenors.

SALIERI
Also identical?

MOZART
Exactly. The instruments to go with
the voices. Trumpets and timpani,
tonic and dominant.

He again hums the bass vocal line from the beginning,
conducting. On the soundtrack, we hear the second bassoon
and bass trombone play it with him and the first bassoon and
tenor trombone come in on top, playing the tenor vocal line.
We also hear the trumpets and timpani. The sound is bare and
grim. It stops at the end of the sixth measure. Salieri stops
writing.

SALIERI
And that's all?

MOZART
Oh no. Now for the Fire.
(he smiles)
Strings in unison - ostinato on all -
like this.

He sings the urgent first measure of the ostinato.

MOZART
(speaking)
Second measure on B.

He sings the second measure of the ostinato.

MOZART
(speaking)
Do you have me?

SALIERI
I think so.

MOZART
Show me.

Salieri sings the first two measures of the string ostinato.

MOZART
(excitedly)
Good, good - yes! Put it down. And
the next measures exactly the same,
rising and rising - C to D to E, up
to the dominant chord. Do you see?

As Salieri writes, Mozart sings the ostinato from the
beginning, but the unaccompanied strings overwhelm his voice
on the soundtrack, playing the first six bars of their
agitated accompaniment. They stop.

SALIERI
That's wonderful!

MOZART
Yes, yes - go on. The Voca Me.
Suddenly sotto voce. Write that down:
sotto voce, pianissimo. Voca me cum
benedictis. Call me among the blessed.

He is now sitting bolt upright, hushed and inspired.

MOZART
C Major. Sopranos and altos in thirds.
Altos on C. Sopranos above.
(singing the alto
part)
Vo-ca, vo-ca me, vo-ca me cum be-ne-
dic-tis.

SALIERI
Sopranos up to F on the second 'Voca'?

MOZART
Yes, and on 'dictis'.

SALIERI
Yes!

He writes feverishly.

MOZART
And underneath, just violins -
arpeggio.

He sings the violin figure under the Voca Me (Bars 7,8,9).

MOZART
(speaking)
The descending scale in eighth notes,
and then back suddenly to the fire
again.

He sings the ostinato phrase twice.

MOZART
(speaking)
And that's it. Do you have it?

SALIERI
You go fast!

MOZART
(urgently)
Do you have it?

SALIERI
Yes.

MOZART
Then let me hear it. All of it. The
whole thing from the beginning -
now!

The entire Confutatis bursts over the room, as Mozart snatches
the manuscript pages from Salieri and reads from it, singing.
Salieri sits looking on in wondering astonishment. The music
continues right through the following scenes, to the end of
the movement.

EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - WINTER NIGHT - 1790'S

A carriage is driving fast through the night. Snow lies on
the countryside.

INT. THE CARRIAGE NIGHT - 1790'S

The carriage is filled with passengers. Among them Constanze
and Karl, her young son. They are sleepless and sway to the
motion of the vehicle.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

Mozart lying in bed exhausted, but still dictating urgently.
We do not hear what he is saying to Salieri, who still sits
writing assiduously. Mozart is looking very sick: sweat is
pouring from his forehead.

EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - WINTER NIGHT - 1790'S

The carriage, moving through the night, to the sound of the
music.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

Mozart still dictating; Salieri still writing without stop.

EXT. VIENNA STREET - DAWN - 1790'S.

The carriage has arrived. Constanze and her son alight with
other passengers. Postillions attend to the horses. She takes
her boy's hand. It is a cold wintry dawn.

The music stutters to a close. End of the Confutatis.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT - 1790'S

MOZART
Do you want to rest a bit?

SALIERI
Oh no. I'm not tired at all.

MOZART
We'll stop for just a moment. Then
we'll do the Lacrimosa.

SALIERI
I can keep going, I assure you.
Shall we try?

MOZART
Would you stay with me while I sleep
a little?

SALIERI
I'm not leaving you.

MOZART
I am so ashamed.

SALIERI
What for?

MOZART
I was foolish. I thought you did not
care for my work - or me. Forgive
me. Forgive me!

Mozart closes his eyes. Salieri stares at him.

EXT. VIENNA STREET - WINTRY DAWN - 1790'S

Constanze and Karl approach along the cobbled street, hand
in hand toward their house. Snow lies in the street.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAWN - 1790'S

Mozart lies asleep in the bed, holding the last pages of the
manuscript. Salieri lies across from him on Karl's small bed
in his shirt sleeves and waistcoat. The child's bed is
obviously too small for him and he is forced in to a cramped
position.

EXT. MOZART'S APARTMENT HOUSE - DAWN - 1790'S

Constanze and Karl arrive at the door. They enter.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAWN - 1790'S

It is as disordered as before, save that the table, previously
littered with pages, is now completely bare. Constanze looks
at it with surprise and enters the bedroom.

INT. MOZART'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAWN - 1790'S

Mozart is asleep in the bed. Salieri is dozing on the nearby
child's bed. The room is full of the trailing smoke from
guttering and guttered candles. Startled by Constanze's
entrance and her young son, Salieri scrambles up. As he does
so, he attempts to button his waistcoat, but does it ineptly,
so that the vestment becomes bunched up, making him look
absurd.

CONSTANZE
What are you doing here?

SALIERI
Your husband is ill, ma'am. He took
sick. I brought him home.

CONSTANZE
Why you?

SALIERI
I was at hand.

CONSTANZE
Well, thank you very much. You can
go now.

SALIERI
He needs me, ma'am.

CONSTANZE
No, he doesn't. And I don't want you
here. Just go, please.

SALIERI
He asked me to stay.

CONSTANZE
And I'm asking you -

She notices a movement from the bed. Mozart wakes. He sees
Constanze and smiles with real joy. Forgetting Salieri, she
goes to her husband.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi, I'm back. I'm still very angry
with you, but I missed you so much.

She throws herself on the bed.

CONSTANZE
I'll never leave you again. If you'll
just try a little harder to be nice
to me. And I'll try to do better,
too. We must. We must! This was just
silly and stupid.

She hugs her husband desperately. He stares at her with
obvious relief, not able to speak. Suddenly she sees the
manuscript in his hand.

CONSTANZE
What is this?

She looks at it and recognizes it.

CONSTANZE
Oh no, not this. Not this, Wolfi!
You're not to work on this ever again!
I've decided.

She takes it from his weak hand. At the same moment Salieri
reaches out his hand to take it and add it to the pile on
the table.

She stares at him, trying to understand - suspicious and
frightened and at the same time unable to make a sound. Mozart
makes a convulsive gesture to reclaim the pages. The coins
brought by Salieri fall on the floor. Karl runs after them,
laughing.

CONSTANZE
(to Salieri)
This is not his handwriting.

SALIERI
No. I was assisting him. He asked
me.

CONSTANZE
He's not going to work on this
anymore. It is making him ill. Please.

She extends her hand for the Requiem, as she stands up.
Salieri hesitates.

CONSTANZE
(hard)
Please.

With extreme reluctance - it costs him agony to do it -
Salieri hands over the score of the Requiem to her.

CONSTANZE
Thank you.

She marches with the manuscript over to a large chest in the
room, opens it, throws the manuscript inside, shuts the lid,
locks it and pockets the key. Involuntarily Salieri stretches
out his arms for the lost manuscript.

SALIERI
But - but - but -

She turns and faces him.

CONSTANZE
Good night.

He stares at her, stunned.

CONSTANZE
I regret we have no servants to show
you out, Herr Salieri. Respect my
wish and go.

SALIERI
Madame, I will respect his. He asked
me to stay here.

They look at each other in mutual hatred. She turns to the
bed. Mozart appears to have gone to sleep again.

CONSTANZE
Wolfi?
(louder)
Wolfi?

She moves to the bed. The child is playing with the coins on
the floor. Faintly we hear the start of the Lacrimosa from
the Requiem. Salieri watches as she touches her husband's
hand. As the music grows, we realize that Mozart is dead.

CU, Constanze staring wide-eyed in dawning apprehension.

CU, Salieri also comprehending hat he has been cheated.

The music rises.

CU, The child on the floor, playing with the money.

CUT TO:

EXT. STEPHEN'S CATHEDRAL - VIENNA - A RAINY DAY - 1790'S

The Lacrimosa continues through all of the following: a small
group of people emerges from the side door into the raw, wet
day, accompanying a cheap wooden coffin. The coffin is borne
by a gravedigger and Schikaneder in mourning clothes. They
load it onto a cart, drawn by a poor black horse. All the
rest are in black, also: Salieri, Von Swieten, Constanze and
her son, Karl, Madame Weber and her youngest daughter Sophie,
and even Lorl, the maid. It is drizzling. The cart sets off.
The group follows.

CUT TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE THE CITY WALLS OF VIENNA - RAINY DAY - 1790'S

The group has already passed beyond the city limits following
the miserable cart. The Lacrimosa accompanies them with its
measured thread.

The drizzle of rain has now become heavy. One by one, the
group breaks up and shelters under the trees. The cart moves
on toward the cemetery, alone, followed by nobody, growing
more and more distant. They watch it go.

Salieri and Von Swieten shake hands mournfully, the water
soaking their black tall hats. Schikaneder is in tears.
Constanze is near collapse. Salieri moves to assist her, but
she turns away from him, seeking the arm of Cavalieri. Madame
Weber takes Karl's hand.

The music builds to its climax on Dona Eis Pacem! We CUT
back to:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - MORNING - 1823

Morning light fills the room. Old Salieri sits weeping
convulsively, as the music stops. Tears stream down his face.
Vogler watches him, amazed.

VOGLER
Why? Why? Why? Why add to your misery
by confessing to murder? You didn't
kill him.

OLD SALIERI
I did.

VOGLER
No, you didn't!

OLD SALIERI
I poisoned his life.

VOGLER
But not his body.

OLD SALIERI
What difference does that make?

VOGLER
My son, why should you want all Vienna
to believe you a murderer? Is that
your penance? Is it?

OLD SALIERI
No, Father. From now on no one will
be able to speak of Mozart without
thinking of me. Whenever they say
Mozart with love, they'll have to
say Salieri with loathing. And that's
my immortality - at last! Our names
will be tied together for eternity -
his in fame and mine in infamy. At
least it's better than the total
oblivion he'd planned for me, your
merciful God!

VOGLER
Oh my son, my poor son!

OLD SALIERI
Don't pity me. Pity yourself. You
serve a wicked God. He killed Mozart,
not I. Took him, snatched him away,
without pity. He destroyed His beloved
rather than let a mediocrity like me
get the smallest share in his glory.
He doesn't care. Understand that.
God cares nothing for the man He
denies and nothing either for the
man He uses. He broke Mozart in half
when He'd finished with him, and
threw him away. Like an old, worn
out flute.

EXT. CEMETERY OF ST. MARX - LATE AFTERNOON - 1790'S

The rain has eased off. A LOCAL PRIEST with two boy acolytes
is standing beside an open communal grave. Mozart's body is
lifted out of the cheap pine box in a sack.

We see that the grave contains twenty other such sacks. The
gravedigger throws the one containing Mozart amongst the
others. An assistant pours quicklime over the whole pile of
them. The acolytes swing their censers.

LOCAL PRIEST
The Lord giveth. The Lord taketh
away. Blessed be the name of the
Lord.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. OLD SALIERI'S HOSPITAL ROOM - MORNING - 1823

OLD SALIERI
Why did He do it? Why didn't He kill
me? I had no value. What was the
use, keeping me alive for thirty-two
years of torture? Thirty-two years
of honours and awards.

He tears off the Civilian Medal and Chain with which the
Emperor invested him and has been wearing the whole time and
throws it across the room.

OLD SALIERI
Being bowed to and saluted, called
'distinguished - distinguished
Salieri' - by men incapable of
distinguishing! Thirty-two years of
meaningless fame to end up alone in
my room, watching myself become
extinct. My music growing fainter,
all the time fainter, until no one
plays it at all. And his growing
louder, filling the world with wonder.
And everyone who loves my sacred art
crying, Mozart! Bless you, Mozart.

The door opens. An attendant comes in, cheerful and hearty.

ATTENDANT
Good morning, Professor! Time for
the water closet. And then we've got
your favourite breakfast for you -
sugar-rolls.
(to Vogler)
He loves those. Fresh sugar-rolls.

Salieri ignores him and stares only at the priest, who stares
back.

OLD SALIERI
Goodbye, Father. I'll speak for you.
I speak for all mediocrities in the
world. I am their champion. I am
their patron saint. On their behalf
I deny Him, your God of no mercy.
Your God who tortures men with
longings they can never fulfill. He
may forgive me: I shall never forgive
Him.

He signs to the attendant, who wheels him in his chair out
of the room. The priest stares after him.

INT. CORRIDOR OF THE HOSPITAL - MORNING

The corridor is filled with patients in white linen smocks,
all taking their morning exercise walk in the care of nurses
and nuns. They form a long, wretched, strange procession -
some of them are clearly very disturbed. As Old Salieri is
pushed through them in his wheelchair, he lifts his hands to
them in benediction.

OLD SALIERI
Mediocrities everywhere, now and to
come: I absolve you all! Amen! Amen!
Amen!

Finally, he turns full-face to the camera and blesses us the
audience, making the Sign of the Cross. Underneath we hear,
stealing in and growing louder, the tremendous Masonic Funeral
Music of Mozart.

On the last four chords, we

FADE OUT:

THE END

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