Dimensions: 304 pages, 9.56 × 6.57 × 1.04 in
Published: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385678037
ISBN - 13: 9780385678032
Read from the Book
chapter 1 The Castrato He spoke first of her breathing, then of her bearing and strength. He showed her, with lightness and ease, with playful, wry animation, how he breathed, as he had been trained. Such training as he had undergone could not be replicated, he said. But he would do his best, if Anna would try. She said she would. He exhaled in a hiss from full, strong lungs while she counted out the seconds. Her own exhale she could not sustain long, but it was wonderful failure, failure that might some day be overcome. He demonstrated for her, too, the messa di voce, the placement of the voice, in which he sang a single note from softest to loudest and back again, and touched, along the way, all the gradations of loudness and softness between. She failed here, too, but still he made her feel already taken, already touched, with the fever of aspiration—to learn and master everything. It would be like becoming an acrobat, Rauzzini said. Soon enough one might fly. Already he was pleased with her, already praising her quickness and skill. He said that in time they would begin two-note scales, then three notes, then as many notes as could be contained in the measure of a single breath. She had never in her life felt as dancing and vivid as now. She forgot herself. He did not sing much, but when he did, the sound went all around her and through her body. It was as though her soul became huge with life and joy, and she could not believe that she had been
From the Publisher
Vienna Nocturne tells the story of the turbulent
life and brilliantly successful career of young British opera
singer Anna Storace, a child prodigy who is taken by her parents to
Italy at age thirteen to advance her career. In love with life and
wildly ambitious, Anna wants everything--to be famous, to be
loved--and this leads her to make some fatal choices. We watch her
turn from a carefree young girl to a passionate young woman, and it
is during this transformation that her affair with Mozart blossoms.
The story of their love, no less powerful for being forbidden, is
reminiscent of the passionate thwarted romances described in
Loving Frank and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and
Sweet. Written in melodious prose by a young author studying
opera at Yale, Vienna Nocturne is dramatic story of a
woman''s battle to find love and fame in an 18th-century world that
controls and limits her at every turn.
About the Author
VIVIEN SHOTWELL was born in Colorado and raised in Nova Scotia.
A daughter of independent booksellers, and a classically-trained
singer, she has received degrees in music and writing from Williams
College, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Yale School of
"This is an exquisite read for history fans, classical-music lovers
and romance aficionados alike."
"A young, English soprano who finds love in Vienna with none other
than Wolfang Amadeus Mozart. (Confession . . . not being able to
put it down, I finished it over the course of a weekend.)"
"[A] historical love story and portrait of an age."
-The Chronicle Herald
"Vivien Shotwell''s love, knowledge, and passion for music shines
through this seductive tale of the eighteenth-century British
soprano Anna Storace. A lovely read."
-Eva Stachniak, author of The Winter Palace
"Powerful, evocative, and subtle. . . . the language soars, with
descriptions of music and its composers and performers as riveting
as the plot and the sweetly tender love story that pulls at the
"Vivien Shotwell's elegant, keenly observed debut is as deeply
imagined as it is deeply felt. At turns lyrical and dramatic, witty
and wise, Vienna Nocturne is both a fascinating portrait
of a long-lost world and an introduction to a gorgeous new literary
-Jennifer DuBois, author of Cartwheel