deliver something new, the climate, and the provinciality of Venice.
He’s had it all, lock stock and barrel. And enough is enough!
The news does not please Antonio. He gets on well with
Gasparini and still has much to learn from him. And then there’s
the Pietà; what will the Coro make of it all? A thousand questions
ﬂood his mind. He has an overwhelming sense of abandonment,
but Gasparini is reassuring. He has absolutely nothing to worry
about; with his talent, the priest can himself take over the post of
choirmaster, certainly if Gasparini puts in a good word for him
with the Congregazione. And, of course, the two men will stay in
Antonio thinks hard. This is the last thing he had expected.
He, Antonio Vivaldi, Maestro di Coro di Ospedale della Pietà! It sounds
a great challenge, and yet it terriﬁes him. It is naturally a huge
honour, but also carries with it massive responsibility. Right now
his ambition is focused on becoming a successful composer and
writing opere on a grand scale. But for this he needs Gasparini’s
help. And now the man is jumping ship. He feels his chest
‘You can’t leave. At least, not yet! I still have so much to
learn from you, and I’m only halfway there.’
Gasparini smiles. ‘Don’t worry. I’ve promised to help you
and I shan’t go until you’re good and ready. But that means you
have to be quicker off the mark composing opera than you’d
Vivaldi breathes again. He tries to be candid with Gasparini
concerning his worries about taking over as Maestro of the Pietà.
Those anxieties, that is, apart from the question of whether or not
the management will go along with the idea, for Antonio is certain
they ﬁnd Il Prete Rosso far too cocky already. He understands all too
well what sort of dilemma faces the present Maestro di Coro and does
not fancy ever ﬁnding himself in the same boat. Gasparini nods.
‘You’re right. Look, you’re already on the right track! If you can
foresee all this, I have no concerns about your future. Now then,
let’s get down to opera. Have you a libretto in mind?’
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