June 28, 2022

Orchestra Miami Performs Two Aviation Rarities in the Original Pan-Am Hangar

To celebrate the 95th anniversary of the founding of Pan American World Airways, two rarely heard masterpieces by Kurt Weill and Marc Blitzstein were performed in the airline’s only remaining airplane hangar (later taken over by the United States Coast Guard) in Coconut Grove.

Orchestra Miami, conductor Elaine Rinaldi, director Michael Yawney, the Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida all collaborated in bringing these performances to life. The first performance, Lindberg’s Flight by Kurt Weill dramatizes the historic 1927 flight from New York to Paris by pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, depicted through a theme of neo-baroque to astringent modernism. The second performance, Airborne Symphony by Marc Blitzstein sought to capture triumph and tragedy by encompassing man’s hope to take to the air, the Wright brothers’ historic first flight at Kitty Hawk, the rise of Hitler and Nazism, and American and British airpower winning World War II. Through a thought-provoking and controversial narrative, the latter performance set a grim, yet influential implication of how valuable mankind really is.

After the music stopped and the “flight was over”, the audience walked off that plane having glimpsed a rich piece of history and sense a deep appreciation for how far the world has come. We give credit to Elaine Rinaldi for presenting a one-of-a-kind concert, director Michael Yawney and the dancers from Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre and the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida for using the music to set a suspenseful yet strong, influential message and theme that resonated to all in attendance.

Shake-A-Leg Miami is honored to have been able to assist with the logistics in helping bring this event to life in the historic hangar. Click below to read the official press release in the South Florida Classical Review.

South Florida Classical Review » » Orchestra Miami takes flight with two aviation rarities