How does a young American girl, who knows nothing about classical music and whose musical role models are rock and roll idols, transform herself into the most famous female opera singer of the Baby Boom generation? In The Summer of the Rosenkavalier, follow the career of Anna Trent, from her choir singing, garage band days in 1960’s Kansas to the present day opera stages of Europe.
It is a summer of crisis for Anna. Besides performance anxiety, she has much to fear and worry about – her fiftieth birthday, aging, health problems – real and imaginary, the loss of her desirability (imaginary), difficult colleagues (real), a neglected daughter, a devious au pair and the two men in her life – her philandering Svengali like English conductor husband and a younger American conductor – her lover and her first extramarital affair. The novel follows the humorous escapades of the Trent entourage during the summer months, as opera fans turn themselves into modern pilgrims and worship at their favorite shrines, the European music festivals, where Anna performs.
Throughout her career Anna has learned from the characters she has portrayed, models of either how to behave, or more likely, how not to behave. This summer, she will have lessons to learn from them.
Carole Kulikowski is an artist represented by Ceres Gallery in New York City.