When I was in Siena, Italy last week with the WXXI Travel Club, I picked up a copy of an historical novel by Marina Fiorato. Called Daughter of Siena, it traces the fate of a young woman in the Tuscan hill town during the Palio, a chaotic annual horse race in which jockeys circle the town’s central piazza. Set in 1723, the main character watches her betrothed die during the
“The Queen of the Night vanished into the split rock, the stage lift worked, the prince and the birdcatcher set out on their adventures. The scene changed and in a room in Sarastro’s palace lay Pamina, abandoned and afraid. And here was alchemy again as the quarrelsome, rapacious Raisa became a young girl whose simplicity and seriousness was affirmed in every limpid note.