For the love of art (and Henry)


Twin Citian Gail Miller Weber practices law and spends every spare moment of her time promoting the arts. With a barrister’s thoroughness and attention to detail, Gail digs up the calendars of every arts event that is worthy of its ticket price (plus many that are free of charge), organizes them both thematically and by date, and publishes the info with articles and humorous quips in her three- or four-times-yearly magazine, Exploring T.O.S.C.A. (annual subscription $35). T.O.S.C.A. stands for theater, opera, Shakespeare, culture, art. Of course, Tosca also is the title of an opera penned in 1900 by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, who also composed Madame Butterfly and La Bohème.

This Sunday afternoon, August 12, at a lovely Hopkins/Minnetonka venue, Gail will host one of her famous events that bring T.O.S.C.A. to life for aficionados and novices alike. It’s called Musetta, Doretta & Loretta (not The Sopranos you’re used to). Local soprano Margaret Houlton will provide musical entertainment, and she’s amazing. This is the event to attend if you’ve never been to an opera because Margaret tells the story behind every aria she sings, and it’s all very casual. Not stuffy. Plus you’ll get appetizers, sandwiches and pastries by Agora Nova Catering.

Here’s the love-of-Henry part. The T.O.S.C.A. event includes a silent auction to benefit local Renaissance man Henry Allen—an entrepreneur, singer, actor and Waldorf Schools consultant whose 12-year-old son Cameron has brain cancer. Henry is a single dad with sole responsibility for much of Cameron’s care, which makes it hard to hold a full-time job and keep the fires burning at home. Auction items include original, signed sheet music by Stephen Sondheim (whose A Little Night Music begins August 17 at Bloomington Civic Theater); a 7-night stay at a ski resort condo in Vail; a private reception with artist Dan Mason at Thomas Barry Fine Arts with food and wine by Spill the Wine; a live oak tree; a Minnesota Twins baseball package; a family portrait session; artwork, theater ticket packages, fine dining gift cards, and more. That’s another reason to attend this event. Get your holiday shopping done early while contributing to a worthy cause! (Note that this is not a non-profit event, and contributions may not be tax-deductible.)


WHAT: Musetta, Doretta & Loretta (not The Sopranos you’re used to)

WHEN: 3:00pm-6:00pm Sunday, August 12

WHERE: The Farmhouse Fireplace Room at Elder Homestead

11400 4th Street North, Minnetonka, MN 55343 (just off Hwy 7 between I-494 & Hwy 169, just west of Hopkins Crossroad/Co Rd 73)

TICKETS: $45/person in advance, $55 at the door, Exploring T.O.S.C.A. subscribers get 2-for-1. Send checks to: T.O.S.C.A., 7455 France Ave. S., PMB #412, Edina, MN 55435-4702

FOR MORE INFO: 612-481-3206 or email