Vivaldi and the chorus of unwanted children

By William Packer [Financial Times, 29 August 2005]
The Vivaldi industry still grows apace, and with it the myths abound. The musician was known as il prete rosso, the red priest, and one of the oldest rumours is that of his relationships with the beautiful girls of the Pieta in Venice, where he worked as music master. In the chapel of the Pieta in the early decades of the 18th century was to be savoured one of la Serenissima’s special treats, as up in the gallery the sweet voices rose and fell behind the grille, the singers not quite out of sight.