veryone doubted that he would ever return to her. After all, he was an American sailor and it was well known fact that those sailors always had a different girl in every port. It was thought by others that she was just another young girl abandoned by her American sailor.
Yet, she thought differently. She had given up her own family and even her own religion to marry him. She always believed that he would come back to her. But time passed and he had not returned.
As she sat on the floor of the living room of her sparsely furnished hilltop home, her blue eyed, curly blonde haired, three-year-old son played with his toy model of an American ship. This was their child, but her sailor had no idea, as she discovered the pregnancy after he had left her side, not long after their wedding night.
While sitting with her son, her thoughts floated back to the night she married Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton of the United States Navy. They were wed, under the stars, on the hilltop overlooking Nagasaki harbor. She was so nervous that night, yet his tender, passionate words melted away all of her fears.
She always remembered with affection the words he told her that night as he pulled her close and kissed her. All of the doubters never heard what he told her as he held her tight. That was why they never believed he would come back to her. But she knew better. He loved her. He would return. He promised her.
She dreamed often of that “un bel di” (one fine day), when she would gaze down upon the harbor from her hilltop home and see her sailor’s white warship, the Abraham Lincoln, enter Nagasaki harbor, flying the flag of the United States. Then her sailor, her husband, would walk up the winding uphill path to her little house, grab her in his arms and take her and their son back to America, together.
He promised her he would return.
But that was three years ago. And he had not returned. She was now poor, abandoned by her family and trying to raise her son. Her faithful maid, Suzuki, had stayed with her all these years. However, even Suzuki grew concerned for her mistress.
Suzuki tried to convince the young girl to return to her days as a Geisha. But the young girl defiantly stated that she would rather die than go back to the life she led prior to marrying her sailor. Those close to her were still trying to make her see that he would never return and that she should find someone else. Yet, she still waited; waited for his return.
Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted by the thundering sound of a canon shot from the harbor. Suzuki rushed into the living room where mother and son were and said breathlessly:
Il cannone del porto! The cannon of the port!
The young girl sat motionless on the floor, as Suzuki ran toward the terrace and looked down toward the harbor. Suzuki quickly turned and came back inside the living room, saying with excitement:
Una nave da guerra. It is a warship.
The young girl quickly got up from the floor, swept her son up into her arms, and scrambled toward the terrace. Suzuki followed closely behind.
For three years this is how it played out whenever a ship entered the harbor, as the young mother, holding tightly to her son, scanned the horizon to see the color and flag of the ship entering the harbor, only to have her dreams shattered once it was discovered that it was not her sailor’s ship.
Standing on the terrace, the young girl looked down toward the harbor. As she saw the ship for the first time, she spoke out loud to her son, almost in disbelief:
Bianca. Bianca. It is White. White.
Il vessillo Americano The American Flag
delle stelle. with the stars.
With her anticipation building, she put her son down and ran over to a telescope that was permanently set up on the terrace and which always pointed down toward the harbor. With Suzuki steadying her hand on the telescope, the young girl squinted tightly to get a better view of the ship.
The ship began to drop its anchor. The young girl strained to see the name of the ship. Unable to contain herself, she blurted out, as if she was commanding the telescope itself to speak:
Il nome! Il nome! The name! The name!
Il nome! The name!
Looking through the telescope, she scanned back and forth until she was finally able to locate the name written on the side of the ship. As it came into view, she said:
Eccolo. Here it is.
And then, with utter jubilation, she said the name of the ship:
Abramo Lincoln! Abraham Lincoln!
Tears began streaming down her face. She fell to the ground and buried her face into her hands, overcome with emotion. Her young son got up and came over to her, grabbing her tightly from behind. She picked her head up, turned to her son, and then, as if in defiance of the last three years that she had waited, and with a feeling of vindication, she repeated, choked with tears:
È giunto! He has come.
È giunto! He has come.
È giunto! He has come.
She then outstretched her arms, and exclaimed:
Ei torna He has returned
e m’ama! and he loves me!
As the church bell from the nearby Duomo, the Cathedral in Milan, tolled midnight, Franco Tempesta stopped reading. Tears were running down his cheeks as he placed the libretto of Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Madama Butterfly, on the nightstand next to his eight-year-old son’s bed. Wiping the tears away, he said, “This is a good stopping point tonight, Giovanni.”
Giovanni Tempesta loved how every night his father would take an opera libretto and make it into a bedtime story. Unlike other kids, Giovanni’s father did not read nursery rhymes to his son at bedtime, but instead read opera librettos to him, relating to his young son the great stories and legends of operas written centuries ago. Young Giovanni quickly became fascinated with the stories his father told him. When his father reached a part in the libretto where an aria would be sung, Franco gently hummed the aria to his son.
Pub Date: September 26, 2013 | Cefalutana Press | Formats: eBook, Paperback
Tempesta's Dream is the story of an aspiring opera singer coming of age in Milan; a tender and moving love story; a testament to the bonds of friendship; and, at its core, a tribute to the beauty, majesty and miracle of opera.
Giovanni Tempesta always dreamed of becoming an opera tenor and one day singing from the stage of the La Scala Opera House in his hometown of Milan, Italy. But with no real training, his dream has little chance for fulfillment . . . One day, he meets and immediately falls in love with Isabella Monterone, a dark-haired beauty, whose father, a very rich and powerful Milanese Judge, refuses to allow his daughter to date a penniless musician . . . At the lowest part of his life, Giovanni comes upon the Casa di Riposo, a rest home for musicians established by the great opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi . . . It is at the Casa Verdi that Giovanni meets Alfredo del Monte, a blind, retired opera singer with a secretive past who gradually becomes his mentor . . . Could Alfredo be the one person who could assist Giovanni in finding the break he needs? Or is Giovanni destined to be on the cusp of reaching his life long dream, only to find failure? . . . Tempesta's Dream, at its core, is an Italian opera love story. The author tells the story simply and swiftly with an ending that is both an emotional and poignant moment of both "amicizia e amore" (friendship and love.)
Praise for Tempesta's Dream“The novel has enormous heart and a few times my eyes filled with tears. I was vividly involved with this young tenor, his dreams, and the wonderful old man who taught him. It is not an easy thing to convey the passion for song. However, the way the author did it, I could physically feel the young tenor singing and hear his voice.” -Stephanie Cowell, Author of Marrying Mozart
“The story holds charm and appeal. There is beauty in the depiction of the relationship between Giovanni and Isabella, as well as in the bond between Alfredo and the young tenor. Giovanni, Isabella and Alfredo will remain in ‘memoria mia’ for years to come.” -George Shirley, Tenor, University of Michigan Emeritus Professor of Music (Voice)
“Within a very moving story of romance and friendship, the author has created a realistic portrait of a young singer’s pursuit of an operatic career. This lovely tale allows one to acquire an understanding of and an affection for opera.” -Audrey Schuh Redmann, Soprano
“This novel is a thorough pleasure.” -Christina Vella, Author of Intimate Enemies, The Two Worlds of Baroness de Pontalba
“The story surprised me and involved me. The development of the book was very intriguing and moving.” -Cecilia Gobbi, founder of the Associazione Musicale Tito Gobbi, an organization devoted to preserving and celebrating the record of her famous baritone father’s contribution to opera
“What a story! Quite possibly, the best novel about opera I have ever read. The passion of opera pulsates throughout the entire novel. Highly recommended.” -John Gehl, Opera historian and the only American collaborator on The Oxford Concise Encyclopedia of Opera
“The author’s contagious love of opera and his faith in human decency sing through this loveable page-turner of a story.” -Susan Nicassio, Author of Tosca’s Rome
"An intelligent and entertaining lyrical journey . . . A rare, beautiful story with passion and opera pulsating through each page. LoCoco has woven a unique novel with exceptionally developed characters, realistic dialogue and a well-balanced narrative." -Penn Book Review
"A Powerful novel . . . Tempesta's Dream is all about the music, it's all about the passion; and it's all about pursuing one's dream . . .a moving, engrossing story." - D. Donovan, Ebook Reviewer, MidWest Book Review
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About the AuthorChip LoCoco was born and raised in New Orleans. He is an attorney, with an emphasis on estate planning. A lifelong lover of music, Chip's passion for opera dates back many years now. He has seen operas all over the world at some of the greatest opera houses. Chip has been asked to give talks on opera as well as the Sicilian-American culture of New Orleans.
Chip's second novel, Bellafortuna, has been named a Short List Finalist in the William Faulkner Writing Competition. A date for publication has not been set yet for his second novel.
Chip is married to his wife of 15 years, Wendy. They have two children, Matthew and Ellie and a beagle, named Scout. They reside in their beloved city of New Orleans, where if you try to find them on a Sunday in the Fall, they will be somewhere rooting on their Saints.
For more information please visit Chip LoCoco's website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.
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