Cover image for Whispers of Vivaldi
Title:
Whispers of Vivaldi
Author:
Myers, Beverle Graves, author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Scottsdale, AZ : Poisoned Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
288 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
"Venice, 1745. The once celebrated male soprano, Tito Amato, is now determined to prove himself as a director. With the theater losing subscribers to a rival company headed by an unscrupulous impresario, San Marco's Maestro Torani charges Tito with locating the perfect opera to fill the seats in time for the opening of Carnival. Surprisingly, a second-rate composer provides the very thing--an opera so replete with gorgeous melodies the public speculates it was written by the late Antonio Vivaldi. Even more disconcerting are the rumors swirling around Angeletto, a male soprano imported from Naples to sing the lead. Is the singer truly a castrato or a female soprano engaging in a daring but lucrative masquerade? Both matters lead the perplexed Tito into dangerous waters that turn murderous when Maestro Torani undergoes a series of increasingly vicious attacks ending in his death. And Tito is the prime suspect. His own life as well as the future of Teatro San Marco now depend on his skills as a sleuth"--Dust jacket.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781464202087

9781464202100
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Venice, 1745, is an age of reckless pleasures, playful artifice, and baroque excess. An accident has reduced Tito Amato's glorious singing voice to a husky croak. But now the male soprano is determined to prove himself as a director. As the Teatro San Marco is losing subscribers to a rival company, the theater's Maestro Torani charges Tito with locating the perfect opera to fill the seats in time for Carnival.

Surprisingly, a second-rate composer provides the very thing - an opera so replete with gorgeous melodies the public speculates it was written by the late Antonio Vivaldi. Even more disconcerting are the rumors swirling around Angeletto, a male soprano imported from Naples to sing the lead. Is the singer truly a castrato or a female soprano engaging in a daring but lucrative masquerade?

Both matters turn dangerous when Maestro Torani is viciously attacked and killed. And Tito is the prime suspect. His own life as well as the future of Teatro San Marco now depend on his skills as a sleuth....


Author Notes

Beverle Graves Myers is the author of five previous Tito Amato mysteries, and, with Joanne Dobson, Face of the Enemy set in New York during World War II. Bev, a retired psychiatrist, divides her time between Kentucky and Florida.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The twin plot is so old, it should come wearing whiskers." So says the protagonist of Myers's sixth Tito Amato mystery set in 18th-century Venice. Amato, a castrato, was an opera star until vocal problems forced career change upon him. His challenge, to revive the flagging fortunes of his beloved Teatro San Marco by replacing a formulaic opera of modest merit with a newly discovered one of wondrous content and mysterious origin, makes him a snake pit of enemies. Among them are impresarios, musicians, stage managers, gigolos, potentates, and even another castrato. One of them murders his mentor and friend, Maestro Torani, director of the Teatro. It seems everyone is a legitimate suspect. Myers has a lot going for her. Venice was an even more exotic setting in the 18th century, for which Myers has a nimble and comprehensive grasp, than it is today. She keeps the story flowing as fast as a gondola in aqua alta, yet successfully avoids running aground. She has created an intelligent, compassionate, artistic hero in Tito Amato, devotedly loyal to his art and to Torani. If there is anything to question, it is an occasional surfeit of sensory stimuli, like the onstage birds and wind machines that Venetian opera reveled in. Myers's descriptions, though evocative and undoubtedly accurate, sometimes distracted me from the heart of the tale: "I stopped so suddenly, a bearded Turk with white linen wound around his head crashed into me. I was oblivious to his Arab curses and the flapping of rising pigeons." Also giving me pause were some overly rich analogies (e.g., "I imagined myself laced with the cold burn, much as Gussie's milky Christmas syllabub was laced with fire-warmed brandy") and the occasional jarringly time-displaced phrase (e.g., "If that were true, I was the Bey of Constantinople"). In addition, I would have loved more insight into the castrato psyche, which, after all, is what makes Amato a unique hero. Yet, miraculously, he seems emotionally unscathed by castration. Surely there must be a dark side. Myers mostly addresses professional castration on a practical level: "Once he'd been relieved of his balls, he attacked his lessons with great determination. I suppose he realized that he must succeed as a singer or live the rest of his years as a figure of disdain and pity." Those issues notwithstanding, Whispers of Vivaldi has all the elements of a rollicking opera buffa; I found myself constantly changing bets on whom the ultimate villain would be (and I was fooled every time). Though one need not be a music lover to savor the book, it may well stimulate readers to listen to Vivaldi's magic. If so, so much the better. To quote Amato, "We'll make beautiful music here." Gerald Elias, author of Devil's Trill and three other Daniel Jacobus mysteries set in the dark corners of the classical music world, is a violinist formerly with the Boston Symphony and is an internationally recognized concert artist. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Difficult Maestro Torani is killed during preparations for Venice's Carnival. Tito must sleuth fast since he's a prime suspect in this intricate historical set in 1745. This is the sixth outing for the castrato opera singer/director (after 2009's Her Deadly Mischief). (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.