789. The ideas Vivaldi implanted in their heads took root, bore fruit, and they sang the piece with interest. He asked them to go through it again and they sang it with passion, then a third time in anger and desperation. Vivaldi was able to stop conducting, the work took over, and the girls sang it on their own. In the performance there was not a hint of mockery. When they were done in some girls eyes tears glistened, but in others he saw that angry proud look of injured innocence.
790. Vivaldi realized he had stumbled on to a masterpiece, it was a combination of perfect material, circumstance, and ability. He was so impressed with what he heard that he thought he should give a presentation of the work to a larger audience. It was not his habit to involve his work at the orphanage in his larger work in his professional career, but this was an exception. But before he could proceed he needed to get to get permission of the Father Superior and the elders of the orphanage.
791. But the girls, and especially Netochka and Simmona did not realize how important the performance was to Vivaldi. They continued to make fun of him and the oratorio, even though at the same time, they were moved by the work when they were singing it. There is only one word to describe the feelings of the girls in the choir, and that word was ambivalent.
792. Simmona now came up with another trick to further torment Vivaldi and they tried it out in their evening mock performances and it worked perfectly. Meanwhile Vivaldi arranged for the orphanage elders to be present at his next rehearsal. He wanted to surprise them. He was sure they would be as impressed as he was. He did not want to inhibit the girls or make them nervous so he had his audience file into the choir room at the back entrance, and take seats where the girls would not see them.