Summer 2019 I had an AMAZING time at the conference Casanova in Place, held in Venice and organized by Kathleen Gonzalez and Malina Stefanovska. First, led by Kathleen, we toured Venice with an eye to locations key to Casanova’s memoirs. The highlight of this day was pushing open an unlatched door and getting to see the last remaining casino (little pleasure house) surviving in Venice! The pastel pink and green stucco, the gilded mirrors: all original to the eighteenth-century. I practically wept.
The next day we had an inspiring day of papers about Casanova, and the next, an author’s panel (featuring myself, Kathleen, fellow novelist Michelle Lovric and biographer Ian Kelley). The closing event was a private screening of the ravishing new ballet Casanova, based on Ian’s biography. Here’s a sneak peak: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TUdxK_Y-mo
To meet people of different nationalities, working in different disciplines, yet united by our fascination with Giacomo Casanova, was a life-highlight experience, truly. Thank you to my good friend Kathleen for dreaming up this event and making it come true for all of us!
Older (but still good) news–
CASANOVA’S SECRET WIFE chosen as one of 2017’s top 10 books set in Venice by Venice Insider
More exciting news: The book is being sold as part of the exhibition Casanova: The Seduction of Europe. The show is currently at the Fine Arts Museums-Legion of Honor in San Francisco and will open at the Museum of Fine Arts in my home city of Boston on July 8!
As part of the show I’ll be doing several events:
- A spotlight tour on August 5 (1, 2 & 3 PM) focusing on Francesco Guardi’s The Parlor of the San Zaccaria Convent (1745-50) which has travelled here for the first time from Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice: This painting shows a convent as Caterina and Marina would have experienced it and is used by art and social historians to tell us about convent life in Venice in the eighteenth-century. For example, you can see in this painting the nuns (all dressed up) behind bars and a puppet show going on … all details I include in my book. Here’s a link: https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/il-parlatorio-delle-monache-a-san-zaccaria/KgFikXzN9wOSkQ?hl=it
- A lecture as part of the series Casanova’s Europe, beginning June 21 and featuring several prominent speakers. My lecture will be on July 31 at 10:30 AM: Spaces for Fantasy: Convent and Garden in the Eighteenth-Century. My focus will be on Venetian convents and other spaces for love and fantasy in Europe–particularly country house gardens in England where owners loved to dream about Italy!
- I’m honored that several book groups will be reading my book this spring; I’ll be joining at least one group in person to discuss the book (and hopefully, share some Bellinis.)
I’ve now done two events featuring a short talk followed by love songs from the book brought to life by local early music performers. Check out the video below at 25:45 for a heartmelting performance of O leggiadri occhi belli played by Wellesley College musical director Andrew Arceci on viol da gamba with mezzo-soprano Carrie Cheron at The Concord Bookshop; next, in Washington, D.C., the event featured Amy Domingues on viol da gamba with soprano Laura Choi Stuart. If you’ve got a venue in mind I would love to reprise this magical experience for more people: