Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a genius. Once a child prodigy, he now arrives in Vienna a grown man, able to memorise music from one hearing, composing by hand without mistakes and writing perfect operas in mere weeks.
For the Court Composer, Salieri, Mozart’s genius is a taunt from God. The same God he has faithfully served his whole life and who has never granted him half of Mozart’s talent. When Mozart then faces opposition from key figures in Court and struggles to get work it is no coincidence: Salieri lies behind it all. But it is Salieri alone who recognises Mozart’s ability and secretly painfully adores his music. As Salieri pushes Mozart beyond the point of no return, he is unaware that, as he destroys Mozart, he also destroys himself.
Shaffer’s captivating masterpiece explores music, talent and power, ultimately exposing the darkness of the human mind.