Who really was Lea Kralj? What was the truth about the beautiful, mysterious, passionate diva who was admired and fated throughout her career and who thrilled opera house audiences in cities across Europe? What was her relationship with her mother? And what really happened behind the curtains of her fourth-floor flat by the river, at the height of her fame, during her last summer in Ljubljana?
The only person who may be able to shed further light on the enigma of Lea Kralj is the narrator of this novel, a young Frenchman who first met her, in curious circumstances, in Madrid, and pursued her obsessively to Paris, Milan and eventually to Slovenia. Their relationship, neither sexual nor sycophantic, but one of mutual dependency, remains inexplicable to him. All he knows is that he will forever be dazzled by his memories of Lea Kralj’s voice, her radiating presence and her beauty, and by certain aspects of her life, as tragic and doomed as any of the stage heroines whose roles she sang.
As was apparent in her first novel to be translated into English, the internationally acclaimed Con Brio, Brina Svit writes with a rare poetic facility and rich musicality of expression. Her new novel is a stylistic tour de force which can only enhance her growing reputation.