yet. It’s going to be a huge winner, father. Believe me!’
All hands are on deck at Teatro San Angelo building the sets.
It’s been a long time since the stage looked this good. Antonio
Vivaldi has discussed each act with the renowned stage designer
Bernardo Canal, who has then come up with some sketches. Vivaldi
is thrilled with the stunning ideas put forward by the illusionist.
Working with his son Zuane Canaletto, Bernardo transforms huge
quantities of papier-mâché and metres of linen canvas into a
positively breathtaking fairy-tale landscape. The conjuring
techniques in which the Canals excel will ensure the theatregoer
has a spellbinding experience of being transported to another
Everything is ready for the premier of Orlando Finto Pazzo.
In the theatre ﬁnal rehearsals are underway and the atmosphere is
electric. The music is modern but with just enough traditional
touches to offer a foothold for the more conservative among the
audience. The soloists are raring to go. All members of the cast are
content with their share of the arias, and Antonio has spared no
expense on the costumes. It promises to be the glittering jewel in
this season’s crown, an opening night such as San Angelo has never
known before. Advance bookings, to Giambattista’s great relief,
have gone well.
‘You see!’ Antonio cannot help gloating as he watches his
father add up the ﬁgures again.
But, despite all the glamour, Orlando Finto Pazzo is a disappointment.
The hall is full for the ﬁrst week but then ticket sales begin to
dwindle. And even when the death of Gian Carlo Grimani closes
down the two big Grimani theatres, no extra seats are sold for
Orlando. It is a mystery to everyone. Antonio has been overwhelmed
with compliments for his music, and the singers, too, are perfectly
happy with the public’s response. Even Margherita has never before
received so many bravos, and on the rare occasion a member of the
audience has had the temerity to shout ‘BOO!’ they have brought
down upon themselves the fury of the multitude. Carli has
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