“If he’s caught, it will mean a firing squad. If he does nothing, she will surely die – and the world will never know the greatest voice of all time. That’s something he simply can’t accept – whatever the risk.”
In 1941, an Italian soldier, an aspiring opera singer himself, risked his life to ensure that a wonderfully talented young Greek opera singer made it through WWII alive. This is his story.
“The Tenor” is a sweeping, epic tale of historical fiction, reminiscent of Ann Patchett’s “Bel Canto” and Louis de Bernières’ “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” It swiftly moves from the hero’s youth in pre-war Italy, to his coming of age in war-torn Greece, before ending in a shattering surprise finale at Maria Callas’ historic final performance ever on the stage of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in 1965.
Peter Danish’s inspiration for The Tenor: A few years ago, I was reading a biography of Maria Callas, written by Ariana Stassinopoulou – who would later become known to the world as Arianna Huffington. In her book, there was a very brief but incredible story about an Italian soldier. History has no record of him and his name is unknown, but he inspired me more than I can possibly explain. I decided that he deserved a life and a story of his own. It would be impossible for me to thank everyone who assisted in the creating of this book. If I tried to name them all I would surely leave out far too many. The dozens and dozens of people whom I met in my trips to Italy and Greece, who generously shared their stories and answered my endless questions, please know that your contributions are greatly appreciated and they provide all the color and the texture of the story, and your personal anecdotes about life “back in the day” are the very breath and lifeblood of the book.
The Tenor by Peter Danish (paperback)978-0-9910993-4-4>