Despite her elegant, seemingly shy demeanor, Mary Ann Archer is a woman who gets things done. When she was little, she decided she wanted to be a musician and so that’s just what she became — she has been playing the flute professionally for years, primarily at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mary Ann also team teaches an Italiano all’Opera course at Speak!, one of our most popular. So when we were in Todi last August and she casually mentioned her desire to perform in the town’s most historic and beloved church, il Tempio della Consolazione, together with her husband, Frank Archer, I didn’t have any doubts. And so, nearly a year later, just after landing in Todi with Frank and her two children, Sarah and Geoff, Mary Ann managed to set a date for the concert with the parish priest for the following week on June 23rd. She and Frank had already designed the evening’s program – a musical Grand Tour – and even brought a stack of printed programs in her suitcase. And so, on a perfect Tuesday evening, everyone in our group strolled down the hill from Todi and, joined by many friends and fans from Todi, we were entertained and inspired by the Archer family’s musical collaboration. Frank brought the impressive new (old-style) organ to life while Mary Ann dazzled with her flute and piccolo, joined by Sarah (also on flute) for a few precious duets. No wonder that when we shared our “favorite Todi experiences” at our final dinner, more than a few in our group named the Archer concert as the pinnacle. It was the ultimate sign of how everyone in our group became part of the fabric of life in Todi.
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