The Mozart ‘tornado’ concert…

After Monostatos left my children and me, after having held us hostage for about 666 days, I decided that despite the threats to my life and slander of my character I would not be silenced. And so, with the resources at my disposal — which were limited by having been musically ‘locked out’ by Monostatos and his cohorts at the Minnesota Orchestra — I booked the Art Room at the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church for an all-Mozart concert. The photo for the posters was taken by one of their own. A poster hung in the stage entry of Orchestra Hall. It included a phone number to request tickets. My answering machine took quite a beating, as tens, if not hundreds of hang-up calls were made every night from that point on. I figured Monostatos may have had something to do with that, and did my best to brush it off.

I had found a very good accompanist to work with. That was surprising, as most pianists seemed to have only a limited understanding of how to perform Mozart. I was pleased and relieved — something good will come of this, I thought. Despite the answering machine omen, that is…

Everything was going beautifully. I gave a pre-concert at the Minneapolis Public Library during lunchtime a few days earlier, that was very well received. I had learned by then to trust die zauberflote — and also to expect a lot of twists and turns. Little did I know what lay ahead…

The morning of that June 14th was just gorgeous. It was becoming a bit humid, but that was to be expected at this time of year. I gave my darling children, who would be coming with me, a brief lecture on not running around and making noise while I was performing. I naively thought that would be the worst of my concerns.

Then the weather began to change. A friend called to tell me that it looked like there was a tornado atop the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis. Another friend called to say they would not be able to make the concert because a large tree had fallen across their driveway in the Kenwood area. I quickly assessed our situation — the weather was still good in Hopkins, so we packed up to head downtown. Then the accompanist called to say that a tornado had touched down on his apartment building and he was suffering a panic attack. Also, his ride had canceled due to the weather. I asked if he could take a bus, but he refused. I called another friend who lived nearby and they offered to give him a ride. Other friends called to let me know that they were stuck in the Har Mar mall, where another tornado had hit, and would not be able to attend.

Though tempted to give up in anguish at the sudden and frightening turn of events, I headed downtown with my children and flute. The Art Room was humid. As I warmed up, sweat was dripping down my chin, and my fingers were sliding on the keys. Great! I thought. What next?

But gradually people trickled in. Ashen, my accompanist finally arrived, looking like he had seen a ghost. The skies had settled. The flurry of tornadoes had stopped. My children were playing quietly, as a neighbor kept an eye on them.

And then the concert flew by. Literally, lifted on wings. The culminating piece was Wolf’s D Major Flute Concerto. The extraordinary shalom of die zauberflote was heard throughout the room, to delighted and at times even rapturous applause — as much for my gifted accompanist as for me…

Once again, the darkness had lost…and all was well…and die zauberflote had been taken out of the night of the darkened stage at Orchestra Hall into the light of day, and of the common people, the salt of the earth…

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