Eighteenth-century Vienna is the setting, and two popular artists of the day are the protagonists in this award-winning drama based
on the music and intertwining lives of the brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his jealous rival, Court Composer Antonio Salieri. Believing that God has bestowed brilliance on an unmannered fool, Salieri attempts to destroy his rival. The Broadway production garnered seven Tony Awards including Best Play, and was transformed into an Oscar-winning film.
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes (includes intermission)
Watch a Chicago Tribune video feature about Amadeus
Watch a Chicago Tonight
video feature about Amadeus
Main stage artistic productions are supported, in part, through The Trust for Courtyard Theater Programming, established by a generous leadership grant from the McCormick Foundation.
Team Shakespeare Student Matinees are sponsored by Kraft Foods and Nuveen Investments.
Amadeus is presented in the Jentes Family Auditorium.
Amadeus Media Sponsor
Amadeus tells the story of court composer Antonio Salieri who is overcome with envy at hearing divinely inspired music coming from the vulgar and immature Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Before their meeting, Salieri believed that talent and fame are given to the worthy, including himself. After hearing "the voice of God" through the undeserving Mozart, Salieri realizes that his talent is no match for Mozart's genius, and sets out to destroy his rival and get revenge on an uncaring God. For most of us, however, Mozart's music is a source of joy and inspiration.
"The existence of Mozart (as of Shakespeare) is central to my belief in the sovereign value of mankind, when all around the horrors of the world conspire to convince one of its complete dispensability. Not to be vague, the creation of the C Minor Mass or the final act of Antony and Cleopatra seem to me to give a point to evolution: Most human activities do not."
– Peter Shaffer
A Scholar’s Perspective by C.J. Gianakaris
C. J. Gianakaris surveys the life and times of playwright Sir Peter Shaffer.
A Scholar’s Perspective by Martha Feldman
Martha Feldman explores the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri against the backdrop of late eighteen-century Vienna.
Recorded Excerpts from Talk Back Discussions
Post-show discussions with the cast are held after Wednesday and student matinees. Recordings are updated throughout the run of the production.
Half-hour pre-show lectures are offered on selected weekend dates. Listen to a scholar give an overview of important scholarship and discuss some of the production choices.
Open Door: Audience Enrichment Programs
CST offers pre- and post-show programs with members of the cast or scholars: Pre•Ambles, Pub Cast Calls and Talk Backs.
A Brief History of the Play and Its Sources
Since Mozart’s illustrious childhood and Salieri’s final days, when he was reputed to have confessed to Mozart’s murder, legends have surrounded their lives.
Details of Mozart’s daily life, from his teenage travels to the courts of Europe through his last days, are preserved in the letters he wrote to his father, mother and beloved sister.
These selected internet sites lead further into the exploration of the music of Mozart and Salieri and their life and times.
See who’s who among the actors, with their bios, headshots and resumes.
The Creative Team
See who’s who on the creative team—the director, designers and other artists who contribute to the creation of the world of the play.