The premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail was advertised in Vienna on July 16, 1782. Just four days later the young composer wrote to his father in Salzburg: "Now I have no small task: by Sunday week I have to arrange my opera for wind band, otherwise someone will step in front of me and take the profit.”
Early Tuesday morning we left Winter Park, Florida, and headed across the country to begin the final West Coast leg of the tour. It probably comes as no surprise to say that Southern California is a favourite destination for everyone in the orchestra. This has been our third time in the area in recent years, and we were all excited to return to some of our favourite spots in Santa Barbara and La Jolla. The only down side was that the tour schedule was heating up at this point — four travel and concert days in a row meant there would be little time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings.