Juan was active in political protests under the Franco regime. He is an astonishingly bad accordian player, and an acceptable ventriloquist, which enables him to scratch a living from the streets as an itinerant musician/entertainer. A long time ago, he met an aristocratic young woman (Ornella Muti) at a sit-in at an art gallery and married her. She has long since divorced him, but he still yearns for her. Juan was injured in a random terrorist incident, and now affects costumes that evoke the Phantom of the Opera and other famous mutilated men. He has minor encounters with women, but he is still seeking some way to come back into his former wife's life again.
The story involves the power struggles and sexual intrigues of a group of good-looking nuns at the Sant Arcangelo Convent and in particular the machinations of Sister Julia (played by former Miss Great Britain Anne Heywood) as she attempts, by any means possible, to succeed to the position of the dying Mother Superior. The nuns struggle with their vows of celibacy, some inclining to lesbianism whilst others invite male lovers secretly into their cells.
For this 2017 CSO-Resound release, Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra present Anton Bruckner's unfinished Symphony No. 9 in D minor in a monumental performance that impresses with its marmoreal weight, poignant lyricism, and brutal volatility. Not widely known for his few Bruckner recordings, Muti nonetheless delivers this symphony with the passion and sensitivity of an experienced Brucknerian, and possibly because he hasn't recorded it before, this live rendition of the Ninth seems like an attempt to make up for lost time. Muti's intensity and the orchestra's ferocious power combine to make a memorable reading that may remind listeners of performances by such greats as Günter Wand, Eugen Jochum, and particularly Carlo Maria Giulini, whose recordings of the Ninth are recognized benchmarks. While Muti only performs the three completed movements, and eschews any attempted reconstructions of the surviving Finale sketches, the performance has a genuine feeling of wholeness, and the Adagio particularly has the grandeur and pathos that make it feel like a convincing ending, albeit one that the composer did not intend.