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American actresses ought to be climbing over each other to option the film rights for Mozart's Last Aria. Why? Because the main character is a woman just over forty years old.Learn more about about the book and author at Matt Beynon Rees' website and blog.
It’s well-known that all but a few actresses disappear from lead billing by the time they hit that age. Men, by contrast, can still be playing action heroes and romantic leads when they’re already in adult diapers.
Nannerl Mozart, the sister of the great composer, was a child prodigy at the piano, just like Wolfgang. But in her teens she was left at home by their ambitious father, while Wolfgang went to Italy to compose operas. After that, Nannerl was married off – eventually, at age 32, which was old maid territory in the late eighteenth century – and lived in a remote mountain village with her husband, a boring tax official.
In Mozart's Last Aria, she learns of her brother’s death and suspects foul play. (Mozart himself really did tell his wife that he was being poisoned and six weeks later he was dead.) She travels to Vienna to find out the truth. In the imperial capital, she uncovers a plot involving underground Masonic lodges, espionage, and a secret hidden in the libretto of Wolfgang’s last great opera, The Magic Flute.
As I wrote the novel, I was able to keep in mind...[read on]
Matt Rees is an award-winning crime novelist and foreign correspondent. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed Omar Yussef crime series, including The Collaborator of Bethlehem. He is also the author of Cain’s Field, a nonfiction account of Israeli and Palestinian society. Rees lives in Jerusalem.
My Book, The Movie: Mozart's Last Aria.