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    Paola Calvetti


I Speak of Love to Myself: Life and Music within the Walls of Casa Verdi

Author: Paola Calvetti

The House of Verdi, a retirement home for elderly musicians, is preparing for a wedding within its austere walls. In this novel, Paola Calvetti presents a sophisticated and heartwarming tale of love and music, evocative of Dustin Hoffman’s film Quartet. As Giacomo and Clara prepare their wedding concert in which all of the house members will participate, Ada, the eccentric maid, moves like a butterfly. She flits among the retired guests, listening to their lonely tales of passion, music, and art: Bartholomew, the 90-year-old tenor; Piera, whose wrinkled hands still move with grace across the piano; Kimiko, the Japanese soprano; Luisa, the famous Annina who sang with Maria Callas in La Traviataand Ferro, the gentleman violinist who has broken hundreds of hearts. As they prepare, they share snippets of their incredible lives, memories, and regrets with Ada, confident that she will never betray them, for she has her own secret dream. The House of Verdi (Casa Verdi) is a retirement home for musicians and artists that Verdi himself gave to the city of Milan in 1902.

Publisher: Mondadori
Publish Date: 2013
Page Count: 128, paperback

Foreign Rights

(Albin Michel)




(Martinez Roca)


Paola Calvetti studied at the Alessandro Manzoni Language School in Milan, where she was born and raised. After graduating with a degree in arts, music, and theater from the University of Bologna, she worked as a performing-arts reporter for La Reppublica newspaper. She created and curated The Dance, a series that focuses on the 20 most important dancers and choreographers of the 20th century, and has written essays on both music and dance for The Scala Editions, where she was Head of the Press Office from 1993 to 1997. In 1996, she edited the book Riccardo Muti: Ten Years at The Scala. From 1997 to 1999, she was the Chief Press Officer at Baldini & Castoldi Publishing House. She was the Director of Communications of the Fabrizio Ferri Group from 1999 to 2003, and the Director of Communications of the Italian Touring Club from 2003 to 2009. She appeared on Rai3’s Linea Notte con la Rubbrica from 2009 to 2010 with her recommended reading list of love stories. She is currently the Marketing and Communications Director of the new Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Books of Paola Calvetti