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Puccini’s Chronicles: Volume Four

by Amanda DeLalla (Moderator)

Some time later, Antonio Puccini received his father’s letter with the money he needed to pay back the loans of the Nero Syndicate. As he perused what had been written, Sofia was sitting near the fireplace across the room, sewing up a dress shirt that her fiance had torn during a night of drinking. She sighed audibly.

“Listen to this,” Antonio remarked, blissfully unaware of her discontent. “Apparently Father’s Japanese piece is almost complete; he says he wrote a brilliant aria for the leading tenor.”

“Uh huh,” Sofia said with a nod. She looked up. “His libretto will be in Japanese?”

Antonio laughed. “No, no, mia piccina- the opera takes place in Japan. Of course it will be sung in our native tongue. Which means that you will probably be making yet another appearance onstage for the premiere of this one.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Well.” Antonio scanned the letter again. “It says that tomorrow he would like you to meet him and his collaborators at the La Scala house. I can only assume he wants you to sing for the role of Cio Cio San.”

This got Sofia’s attention, for she nearly jumped from her chair. “Oh, we haven’t seen Giacomo in quite some time. That should be wonderful. I was beginning to fear that the next time I- I mean, we- would see him was at our wedding.”

Antonio smiled as he approached his betrothed and put his arms around her. Unbeknownst to him, she was clenching her fists. His loving temperament melted into one of suspicion as he instructed, “Don’t call him Giacomo. He is your maestro…”

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