Monday, September 3, 2012

An Opera in Three Acts

With Primary Source moving along towards publication (the team is working on layouts & typesetting, now), I thought it would be fun to dissect a few elements of the book...and maybe answer a few questions before anyone has a chance to ask.

To start with:  Why are the three major parts of Primary Source named after operas?

The main character, Malorie DeMarco, is a fourth-generation Italian American. Growing up, she absorbed the love of opera from her Grandfather...and it's still a part of her life, much to the bewilderment of her roommate, Paige.

While opera themes don't play a major role in the story, I thought naming the three major sections after famous librettos might be a good way to reinforce the impact that opera had on Malorie's well as providing hints of foreshadowing.

Part One: A Masked Ball (Verdi)

In the first section, Malorie struggles to make sense of confused identities...she's never quite sure who's who, but she knows she's in danger.

In Verdi's opera, a masked ball covers the identity of a political assassin. 

Part Two: The Italian Girl in Algiers (Rossini)

In the second part of the novel, Malorie takes a journey away from her hometown of St. Louis, in search of answers.

In Rossini's opera, a spunky, clever Italian girl travels away from home on a search for her love.

Part Three: The Force of Destiny (Verdi, again)

As you would expect, Part Three brings everything together in the climax, and Malorie is forced into decisions that affect her destiny.

Verdi's opera has been described as "a sprawling concoction of disguises, fortune tellers, and vows of revenge."  That seemed as good a description of the third section of the novel as any...

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