Imagining Don Giovanni by Anthony J. Rudel
A Novel

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Synopsis

Bursting with the light and life of eighteenth-century Prague, Anthony Rudel's captivating debut novel -- based on a historical event -- resurrects three of the most fascinating personalities of all time and a world of romance and imagination. In October 1787, sixty-two-year-old Giacomo Casanova, the notorious lover, and thirty-one-year-old Wolfgang Mozart, the immortal composer, are believed to have met in a Prague coffeehouse to discuss a revolutionary new opera based on the life of the infamous rake Don Juan. From this mere footnote in history, Anthony Rudel has spun a wondrous tale in which the two, along with the poet Lorenzo Da Ponte, work against the clock to complete the operatic masterpiece. A struggle of wills and desires ensues, winding its way through glittering society balls, rustic old-town inns, and majestic opera houses. It is a time of artistic fervor, philosophical awakening, deep friendship, and true love. Indeed, Mozart's fairy-tale marriage to the beautiful Constanze hangs in the balance. In the eleventh hour, the correspondence of an imprisoned French nobleman of questionable sanity illuminates the opera's destiny: the Marquis de Sade writes from his asylum cell to implore the trio to unite in support of Don Giovanni's theme of personal freedom. The flurry of incendiary artistry and explosive clashes builds to the opera's opening night, a crescendo of inspiration, passionate devotion to liberty, and renewed bonds of love. Combining the ingenious storytelling of the best historical novelists with the breathtaking, Old World European atmosphere of the Oscar-winning Amadeus and the Oscar-nominated Quills, Anthony Rudel has mined a glorious past for this fast-paced and sublimely entertaining first novel.
 

About Anthony J. Rudel

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Rudel is Vice President of Classical Programing for SW Networks.
 
Published January 1, 2001 by Atlantic. 256 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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But in the hands of first-timer Rudel (Classical Music Top 40, a music guide, not reviewed), these larger-than-life men become mere caricatures endowed with little beyond their trademark quirks: Mozart composes an overture in an hour, Casanova seduces sets of twins, and so on.

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Publishers Weekly

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In heritage and career choice (his father is the legendary conductor; he himself is a producer of classical recordings and the author of Tales from the Opera), Ru

Aug 27 2001 | Read Full Review of Imagining Don Giovanni: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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In addition to describing the logistic and artistic complications of writing and staging the opera, Rudel attempts a plot that seems straight out of a morality play: Mozart jeopardizes his marriage by dallying with other women;

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