THE RED PRIEST'S ANNINA, based on actual events, tells the story of 15-year-old Annina Giro, an aspiring singer who faces abandonment, cruelty, and harassment in her quest for theatrical stardom. Annina arrives in Venice in the winter of 1722 in hopes of studying with the great Venetian priest-violinist and opera impresario Antonio Vivaldi, known as the Red Priest because of his fiery red hair. But on her arrival she discovers that he has left for Rome. Her dream of singing in the opera is further hindered by family problems, a disparaging singing master, a malicious rival singer, and a mysterious Gypsy's prediction that she will suffer much and be silenced. Annina's struggle to break into and survive the treacherous, cutthroat world of Venetian opera is set against the colorful back-drop of 18th-century Venice, with its carnivals, masks, drama, intrigue, and music.