A House Near Luccoli focuses on chance encounters, beautiful music and the paradox of genius through an imagined intimacy with one of the most legendary and undervalued figures of Italian Baroque music, Alessandro Stradella.
It is over three years since the charismatic composer, violinist and singer Alessandro Stradella sought refuge in the palaces and twisted alleys of Genoa, royally welcomed despite the alleged scandals and even crimes that forced him to flee from Rome, Venice and Turin.
By 1681 Stradella’s professional and personal life have begun to unravel again, losing him a prime position at la Teatro Falcone and residence on the city’s street of palaces, la Strada Nuova. Returning from a performance in Modena, Stradella is offered—by the very man he is rumored to have wronged—a respectable if slightly shabby apartment in a house near la via Luccoli and yet another chance to redeem his character and career. He moves in with a flourish met with curiosity and consternation by the caretakers who are also tenants, three women whose reputations are only of concern to themselves.
Donatella, still unmarried in her mid-thirties, is plainly irrelevant. Yet like the city she lives in there are hidden longings in her, propriety the rule not cure for what ails her. She cares more for her bedridden grandmother and cats than overbearing aunt, keeping house and tending to a small terraced garden, painting flowers and waxing poetic in her journal. At first she is in awe of Stradella and certain she will have little to do with him. Slowly his ego, playfulness, need of a copyist and camouflage involve her in an inspired and insidious world, exciting and heartbreaking as she is enlarged by his magnanimity and reduced by his missteps, forging a friendship that challenges how far she will go.
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