Being the Other Mozart has not as much to do with chops and musical brilliance as it does with destiny and character. I knew I carried this burden of picking up where Wolf left off when I was very small.
(That’s me, with my teddy bear, on the back steps of the Victorian house in Bridgeport, CT, where we lived before moving to Fairfield. I still have the bear.)
I heard his music on the radio and knew who he was even before I heard about his life. I felt he had done a terrible job. He had left an awful mess for me. In fact, it seemed overwhelming at that time. But God, in His mercy, has managed to develop in me a character similar to Wolf’s. For one thing, as you can see, I don’t give up. For another, I always try to take a positive stance. I look to God to use everything for good. I am frequently surprised, but never disappointed.
Then, of course, there is the incomparable and inimitable sound of die zauberflote, which seems to make a lot of people act a just bit crazy. But that’s another story…
And don’t worry — if you are, by this time, thinking, “Well I never! She doesn’t DESERVE to be the other Mozart!” I can assure you that this fact has been drummed into me constantly, and often on a daily basis. In fact, you can just ask my children — Keith, Kirk and Katherine! 🙂
I hope you will ‘bear’ with me as I tell you more about what I believe actually happened to Wolf and why. I will tell you about those who have done their best to help me, and those who have betrayed me and even plotted my death. (Actually, as my position is one of stature, the correct term is probably ‘assassination’.) In return, I ask you to set aside just about everything you thought you knew about Wolf. Much of the information you may be considering credible might even have even been deliberately disseminated by some with a hidden agenda.
(This painting of me as a young adult was done by my Great-Aunt Marge. She was a professional artist in Chicago, where I was born.)
*M4B=Mozart For Believers
On August 1 of this year we commemorate, or really mourn, the ancient solemn day of the destruction of both the Jewish temples — the First by Babylonians, the Second, by the Romans. It is the saddest day in Jewish history. Other tragedies have occurred on or near this day. Ironically, this year is the tenth anniversary of the terrible and unanticipated collapse of the I 35W bridge over the Mississippi River connecting Minneapolis and St.Paul.
I had traveled on that bridge just about every day preceding the collapse, as my daughter and her family — with our shared dogs– lived on the other side of the river. She, along with my two sons, their families, and I, flew out of MSP to DC for my Mother’s birthday party on August 1, 2007. We were, in fact, rehearsing for our performances that evening when we were told the shocking news. There was no cable where we were rehearsing, and phones and the internet were bogged down. We frantically looked for photos and information about what had happened and why.
Mr. Vanska, and his sidekick, Mr. Schrickel (who had a tangential connection to my family) were also apparently overwhelmed with the seriousness of this tragedy, as Mr. Vanska then composed, and Mr. Schrickel –with the Metropolitan Symphony — performed a piece called “The Bridge”. Did they consider at that time that there might even be a deeper significance to this terrible event? It’s hard to tell…
Now, almost five years after the lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra players, and the ongoing lockout of me, the Other Mozart, are they starting to make a connection? In fact, on this day in 2013 I mailed a letter to Mr. Vanska, asking to be heard in the place where I had once been enticed by Mr. Shrickel and his cohorts to practice on the darkened stage.
Does anyone in Monostatos’ Orchestra have a conscience? Does anyone care about the people of Minnesota who have given them their trust and their money, not to mention their loyalty? Is there any chance that at some point they too, as did Gustav Mahler (whom they have programmed prominently for the next season) call out — in his final words — “Mozart! Mozart! Mozart!”?
*M4B=Mozart For Believers