How can a 17th century Spanish harpist and composer become a spy? By saving the Inquisitor General, right in front of the King.
This is a biographical novel about Juan Hidalgo, a famous Spanish 17th century composer. It is written in the first person, as if Juan is telling the tale. He is from a musical family. His father and his school music teacher encourage him to become a harpist and to write music.
From a humble start, working in the palace, Juan becomes one of King Philip IV’s favourites. The King appoints him as a ‘special agent’, along with Diego Velázquez, the Royal portrait painter. So Juan becomes a spy.
Diego introduces Juan to Francisca. They fall in love and marry. Just after their son is born, Juan’s life is disrupted. The King sends Juan on a mission to the Vatican.
Can a few musicians and a painter rescue Spain from bankruptcy? Will Spanish audiences take to opera?