The Setup


Dear Beta Readers

It’s done! It’s over. Your participation in the Group has finally come to an end, but my gratitude is endless.

If you are looking at this site after 25th June, you will note that all the chapters have been deleted, mainly to protect my copyright – not from you, of course! But now the full manuscript with all your ideas and changes will next emerge on the public stage, and you will justifiably be able to say, “I helped make that!”

If you have missed any of the episodes and would like to read them, email me and I’ll send them to you.

I have emailed the final chapter to you all, so that you can see and comment on the Grande Finale.

I hope you enjoyed the journey! I certainly did and it was lovely having you alongside me on the way. Every journey is made better by having the right companions.

As I said, your reward will be your own signed copy, and a dedication in the book itself. And remember: if you are a writer, I would be very happy to look at your work and comment, and to give advice if wanted.

Bests always!





One of the strangest aspects to this Opera Seria, this tale of blood and sweat and also


Before you plunge into the remainder of our story I suggest you watch the whole opera on YouTube, preferably in English or with English subtitles. This one is very close to the production Feddy envisioned in his mind’s eye. The set very bleak and simple; the costumes almost contemporary, which was brave of him. Like Feddy’s production, it’s not the best performance ever. But if you do watch, it will help you to be present on that very night in June 1920.But first there must be a Dress Rehearsal.

Not compulsory! If you want to get on with the story, continue, with guilt.

A Chorus of Confusion

Dear Beta Readers: A small skip and jump again. The passage in which Guido slashes poor Karl to death is somewhat gory, and needs a great deal of reworking so I am going to cut to Guido’s return, after the bloody scene on the street, to Feddy’s office, where he sits calmly cleaning his knife while Feddy, at Gertrude’s bidding, has rushed out to try to save him.

My dilemma in his section is this: is Franz a closet homosexual? Please read and see what you think. If he is passionate still about Gertrude, this seems like a mixed message.

Just Musing: Did Guido know about the bet? Thinking….

The Long Arm of the Law

Beta readers: so we are going to do a skip and a jump now. The bit missing is the backstory about how Herr Hassler, Gertrude’s father, drunkenly attempts to seduce the Virgin Mary and is rewarded with “asshole cancer”, as he calls it. Prostate cancer as we call it. Guido and Gertrude finish their futile act without resolution. Continue:

And only I know the whole story.


SEBASTIAN AMORE GEILIS: A long and dusty pfad!

Well, dear Beta readers. Time for Sebastian’s backstory! I know you’ve been wondering how this peculiar freckled, mustachioed person manages to eventually take centre stage in this convoluted tale, and here is a partial explanation:

 [JE1]This Seb backstory could go into Act 1


 [JE3]If this is a murder mystery is this appropriate?

 [JE4]perhaps Uncle Karl became Seb’s valet, a sort of Jeeves. Or a spectral presence.

 [JE5]Consider cutting down or out


 [JE7]Uncle or whore?

 [JE8]make sure this ties in with Seb’s war section

A Duel for Fools!

Where we left off: Ebbene! So we are back in the middle of Germany, the University Town of Fohlingen (not its real name) and the arrival at the University Konzerthalle of an impecunious thoroughly unmatched pair of adventurers.

 [JE9]There are too many Narcissists in this novel already. Trump’s fault, probably. Make Franz more sympathetic?

 [JE10]Not sure he was. Must check


 [JE12]or is he?

 [JE13]ADD description of duel Hans & Franz?

 [JE14]Did they?

Feddy’s Festival!

 And SO the trio (now) of Guido, his erstwhile Tutor Gramaschi and our new friend Signor Capodimonte are expelled from Berne (I promise this will become clear when you read the entire novel) and with Capo now in the role of Manager, Gramaschi in the role of suitcase-carrier and Guido in the role of genius prodigy, they make their way to the mid-German University town of Fohlingen where, they hear, a Handel Festival is about to take place and there may well be a role in the Opera Rodelinda for Guido.

This is based on the story of the real Handel Festival which did, indeed, start in 1920 in the mid-University town of Gottingen, and some of the characters are sneakily inspired by real people. See Wikipedia!

We start with the legendary founder, Karl, known as Feddy to his friends and acquaintances. Backstory alert!