Tempesta’s Dream by Vincent B, LoCoco
Paperback, e-Book, 286 pages
Publication Date: September 26, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
“Giovanni Tempesta always dreamed of becoming an opera tenor and one day singing from the stage of the La Scala Opera House in his hometown of Milan, Italy. But with no real training, his dream has little chance for fulfillment . . . One day, he meets and immediately falls in love with Isabella Monterone, a dark-haired beauty, whose father, a very rich and powerful Milanese Judge, refuses to allow his daughter to date a penniless musician . . . At the lowest part of his life, Giovanni comes upon the Casa di Riposo, a rest home for musicians established by the great opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi . . . It is at the Casa Verdi that Giovanni meets Alfredo del Monte, a blind, retired opera singer with a secretive past who gradually becomes his mentor . . . Could Alfredo be the one person to assist Giovanni in finding the break he needs? Or is Giovanni destined to be on the cusp of reaching his life long dream, only to find failure? . . . Tempesta’s Dream is an Italian opera love story. The author tells the story simply and swiftly with an ending that is both an emotional and poignant moment of both “amicizia e amore”. (friendship and love).”
Excerpt from Prologo:
As the church bell from the nearby Duomo, the Cathedral in Milan, tolled midnight, Franco Tempesta stopped reading. Tears were running down his cheeks as he placed the libretto of Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Madama Butterfly, on the nightstand next to his eight-year-old son’s bed. Wiping the tears away, he said, “This is a good stopping point tonight, Giovanni.”
Giovanni Tempesta loved how every night his father would take an opera libretto and make it into a bedtime story. Unlike other kids, Giovanni’s father did not read nursery rhymes to his son at bedtime, but instead read opera librettos to him, relating to his young son the great stories and legends of operas written centuries ago. Young Giovanni quickly became fascinated with the stories his father told him. When his father reached a part in the libretto where an aria would be sung, Franco gently hummed the aria to his son.
Franco did not have a talent for music, but what he did have was a love of music and a passion for opera that he passed to his son.
“Oh, Papa, finish telling me the story. I love the part when Madama Butterfly waits all night for Lieutenant Pinkerton to walk up the hill to her to the Japanese house, only to become sad when he does return but with his American wife.”
Franco replied, “Butterfly had given her entire life to Pinkerton. She had put all of her trust and love in him, but he threw it all away, without even a care of what it would do to her. When you fall in love, Giovanni, always respect that trust the girl places in you. You would only expect the same from her. For it is from that trust, that true love finds its roots. And love is what gives our life poetry. But Giovanni, it is late. Your mama is waiting for me. Domani. We will finish the story tomorrow. Perhaps we will even listen to the Di Stefano/De Los Angeles recording. The heartbreak in Di Stefano’s voice is remarkable as Pinkerton finally realizes the pain he has caused.” Franco then began to sing the opening lines of the aria, Addio, fiorito asil, where Pinkerton admits that he is a coward and cannot face Butterfly and runs from the home.
When he finished, Franco said, “Puccini’s music is so emotional and wonderful. A singer who sings this music with passion can really touch your heart. So much so, that when a gifted soprano sings the line, ‘Ei torna e m’ama!’(He has returned and he loves me!), the crowd always breaks into a rousing round of applause. Giovanni, why do you think that is?”
“Because she hit the note,” replied Giovanni, quizzically.
Franco answered, “No. It’s much more than that. Puccini has magically weaved his music during the course of the opera into the very soul of every audience member. They feel for the character; they are living and dying with Butterfly. That is why they erupt in applause when her sailor returns. Their very own soul leaps with joy for her and, most importantly, with her.
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