Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, is from 2001.
Set in South America, it's about a party that turns bad, as the guests
become hostages when terrorists take over. A lyric soprano had been the
entertainer, so there are many references to operas. Music is a major
character, actually, since it's the one language everyone understands.
Meeting Luciano by Anna Esaki-Smith is set in Westchester County. A
Japanese woman invites Luciano Pavarotti to her home and renovates the
entire house in preparation. I haven't finished it -- I still don't
know if Pavarotti shows up or not.
In the mystery section:
Michael Dibdin's Cosi Fan Tutti. An Aurelio Zen mystery, it's set in
Naples which "comes to resemble the set of the Mozart opera of almost
the same title...bawdy, suspenseful, and splendidly farcical..." (quote
from the back of the book).
Jim Williams' Scherzo is subtltled "A Venetian Entertainment". Set
in the mid -18th century in Venice, its a murder mystery concerning
a castrato opera singer. It's too long, but it has its moments.
I'm on page 85 of Grace Notes by Bernard MacLaverty. A woman composer
struggles with her work and her life in Ireland. Something about the
writing style bothers me.
Has anyone read Canone Inverso by Paolo MaurensigA8 It's set in an
Austrian music school in the 1930s; there's a violin involved.