Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vienna Nocturne by Vivian Shortwell

Vienna Nocturne by Vivian Shortwell - 304 pages

This novel traces the early life of opera singer Anna Storace.  Since little is known about her other than family, acquaintances, and performances, a novel was the perfect way to present her story.  The novel begins with her first lessons and performances in her native England before following her to her big debut in Venice.  From there, her opera company moves to Vienna at the request of the Austrian emperor, Joesph II.  Once there, Anna becomes a "superstar" and meets Amadeus Mozart.  We also see Anna's relationships with her mother, brother, best friend, and lovers, including her costar Francesco Bennuci and Mozart.  Once heart-wrenching point in the story was her ill-fated marriage of necessity with John Fisher and the events directly thereafter.

In all, it was a good story.  I think anyone would be able to follow the storyline.  However, there is a need to know musical terms as they are frequently used and not defined.  The descriptions within the book are reminiscent of an older era.

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