and the ﬁrst days of May ﬁnd them ready to depart.
It is with mixed emotions that Paolina and Antonio set sail
for Trieste. From there they will go on via Laibach and Maridor to
In the churning wake of the ship, just now passing the
Lido, distance grows between Antonio and his city of Venice.
Seated on the rear deck, where he least feels the movement of the
ship, he stares desolately at the campanili as they slowly disappear
over the horizon. For the ﬁrst time he is assailed by doubt as to why
he is leaving, as if unconsciously he senses he might never see his
birthplace again. Would Giambattista have decided differently?
What would his father have done in his place?
Their stay in Graz is shorter than expected. He is met upon arrival
at the Theater am Tummelplatz by a sombre Pietro Mingotti. The
impresario assures Vivaldi he would like nothing better than to
offer him a scrittura, but in all honestly cannot afford to.
Expenditure for the new theatre has been crippling, and last season
he ﬁlled fewer seats than the year before. Vivaldi soon sees he is
wasting his time here, and decides to journey straight on to Vienna.
Anna has already left. Mingotti gives Antonio a letter from her, in
which she explains her plans. It seems she may have a chance of a
role in Prague and does not want to miss it.
Antonio is completely thrown. The public must indeed be
less and less interested in serious music, for why else would they
abandon a brand-new theatre?
At best it is an ominous sign, and his concerns over the
future are ampliﬁed. En route to the Habsburg capital, Paolina tries
to lighten his mood. After all, Vienna has so much to offer him.
Every jolt of the carriage increases his wish to believe her words, so
that by the time they ride into the city on the Danube his tattered
self-respect is intact again and his spirits high.
Once installed in their lodgings on the corner of the new
market, Vivaldi takes a stroll to the Kärntnertortheater. He is looking
for Jozef Selliers, the intendant with whom he has corresponded. It
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