Background and Other Notes of Interest
The magnificent singing actress Renee Fleming provided a model and a list of repertoire for my character. Ms. Fleming, with whom I once had the great pleasure of working, is a magnificent Donna Anna. Take a few moments to listen and watch: \”Non mi dir\” from Don Giovanni, sung by Renee Fleming
This historical novel covers the musical periods of the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Classical, and the Romantic. The very early scenes take place in Rome, where a brand new art form called “musical drama” was just being introduced. For quick details on the birth of opera, visit John Howell’s very brief summary of opera history.
This is Mozart as Teresa Saporiti would have known him. The most passionate Mozart devotees still mourn his untimely death, and long to hear the music he would have written. The Requiem, which he was working on at the time of his passing, was completed by a student of his, Sussmeyer. The contrast between the music of Mozart and the music of Sussmeyer is a painful reminder of what the world lost when it lost Mozart. Listen to a bit of the sublime Requiem.
In addition to touring the Metropolitan Opera House and the historic La Scala Theater in Milan, the following resources were immensely valuable–and a whole lot of fun:
Mozart, a Biography, by Piero Melograni
Marrying Mozart, a delightful novel by Stephanie Cowell
The Inner Voice, by Renee Fleming
The Costume Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
The listserve MozartForum and its helpful scholars
Disaster by the Bay, H. Paul Jeffers
The Great San Francisco Earthquake & Fire, Helen Hillyer Brown
Great Singers on Great Singing, Jerome Hines
An unusual vintage video of San Francisco, 2006