Vivaldi, the sex-obsessed rock star

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A biopic based on the early years of Antonio Vivaldi's life is set to do for the baroque composer what Milos Forman's Amadeus achieved for Mozart more than two decades ago. Joseph Fiennes plays the lead in Vivaldi, which starts filming next April, alongside Gerard Depardieu, Jacqueline Bisset and Malcolm McDowell. Its makers hope to reprise the success of Forman's 1984 epic, which won a multitude of Oscars, revitalising interest in Mozart and his works.

The new project will chart the composer of The Four Seasons' ordination as a priest and his life at a school in Venice, where he becomes a music teacher. 'We are setting out to make something that will last for generations,' said the film's director, Boris Damast. 'Amadeus is what we are going for. They set the template for this form, and there's been not much between then and now. That was a wonderful film. We want to make a film of that calibre. Maybe better.'

Vivaldi's plot begins with the composer entering the clergy. Fiennes' character soon realises he is not suited to the profession and is moved to a school for abandoned illegitimate daughters of Venetian courtesans, based on the Pio Ospedale della Pieta in the Italian city, which still exists today as a hotel.

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