rebel-rousers! But their voices rose until they drowned out the
impresario and as the ﬁrst stones ﬂew through the theatre windows
he gave in and, much to the German’s glee, put his production back
Santurini, though, would not have been Santurini if he
hadn’t tried to pull off another of his tricks. The audience having
left the theatre happy night after night, Francesco smartly sacked
the German. It was Heinichen’s fault he’d lost out on a proﬁtable
deal and now the German could sing for his supper!
The news made Heinichen livid but, almost before he
had fully taken in what was happening, Francesco’s dogs-body
had thrown him out of the building. What Santurini did not
know, however, was that, before devoting himself entirely to music,
Heinichen had studied law and worked for a few years as a solicitor.
Johann Heinichen, delighted at last to be able to put to good use
his long years of study, began a case against the impresario.
The lawsuit did not last long, for Santurini had been busy
for many years building up a huge dossier of complaints against
his own person. He had also managed run-ins with plenty of nobili,
so that he stood not a chance in the courtroom. He was sentenced
to a non-negotiable ﬁne of sixteen hundred ducats, which meant
ﬁnal curtains for the theatre boss. The magnitude of the ﬁne was
enough to bankrupt Francesco Santurini, leaving Teatro San Angelo
for the ﬁrst time in ages without an impresario. But, despite it
being almost impossible to make any proﬁt from opera, the lease
was soon taken over by Signor Modotto.
Tall and lean, Modotto is made of quite different stuff from his
predecessor. He has no intention of working hard and like
Santurini spending every day in the dusty theatre. Oh no, Modotto’s
plan is to sublet the theatre by the season. This is the way to make
money, and here lies Vivaldi’s chance!
The priest has been to see Modotto and put a proposal to
him. Modotto has not directly rejected the idea, but neither has he
rushed into accepting it.
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