The Black Opera

The Black Opera

4.5 2
by Mary Gentle
     
 

Naples, the 19th Century.

In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, holy music has power. Under the auspices of the Church, the Sung Mass can bring about actual miracles like healing the sick or raising the dead. But some believe that the musicodramma of grand opera can also work magic by channeling powerful emotions into something sublime. Now the Prince’s Men,

Overview

Naples, the 19th Century.

In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, holy music has power. Under the auspices of the Church, the Sung Mass can bring about actual miracles like healing the sick or raising the dead. But some believe that the musicodramma of grand opera can also work magic by channeling powerful emotions into something sublime. Now the Prince’s Men, a secret society, hope to stage their own black opera to the empower the Devil himself–and change Creation for the better.

Conrad Scalese is a struggling librettist whose latest opera has landed him in trouble with the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Rescued by King Ferdinand II, Conrad finds himself recruited to write and stage a counteropera that will, hopefully, cancel out the apocalyptic threat of the black opera, provided the Prince’s Men, and their spies and saboteurs, don’t get to him first.

And he only has six weeks to do it . . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Conrad Scalese is an atheist and bel canto opera librettist living in an early 19th-century Naples where sung Masses and operas produce miracles, the ghosts who trouble the living have agendas of their own, and sometimes the dead return to life. In the wake of a disaster that he’s rumored to have caused, Scalese is hired by Ferdinand, the king of the Two Sicilies, to help create an opera that will act as a counterspell to one being devised by the Prince’s Men, a shadowy Rosicrucian-like order that has already used an opera to cause the eruption of Mt. Tambora and the infamous Year Without a Summer. Gentle (Ilario: The Stone Golem) has created a fast-paced, intricate, swashbuckling tale, and Scalese’s adventures in this richly detailed world are as dense with high stakes, grand betrayals, and extravagant characters as the opera he has six weeks to write. (May)
Library Journal
In 19th-century Naples, where holy music can cause miracles, librettist Conrad Scalese runs into trouble from the Holy Office of the Inquisition for writing an opera that calls down lightning. Instead of branding him a heretic, however, it remands him into the custody of Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies. Ferdinand needs Conrad to write an opera with enough magic to avert a secret society's staging of a black opera to summon the Devil. With only six weeks to create an opera that can stop the eruption of a volcano and an invasion by Hell, Conrad is forced to work with a composer now married to a woman he once loved and lost. VERDICT Gentle (Ash; Golden Witchbreed) infuses her alternate history with magic and populates it with convincing, fully fleshed characters. Fans of alternate history as well as opera buffs should enjoy this beautifully written tale of the power of music and undying love.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597802192
Publisher:
Night Shade Books
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Pages:
550
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

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The Black Opera 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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