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Mariposa Symphony Orchestra Hits Lucky 13

MARIPOSA – ​The Mariposa Symphony Orchestra opens its 13th Season on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Fiester Auditorium of Mariposa High School with a concert of crowd-pleasing classics.

The concert will be led by the MSO’s founder/conductor Les Marsden​. ​The ​orchestra is a program of the Mariposa County Arts Council,​ and Mariposa is regarded as the smallest town in all of America with its own symphony orchestra​.

The performance opens with the overture to Gioachino Rossini’s final opera, “William Tell.” The piece’s four distinct sections are well-known from their use in “pop” culture (including cartoons, television, radio and film) with the overture’s final, dashing best-loved section forever associated as the theme music to “The Lone Ranger.”

The concert continues with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture.” Composed by the Russian at age 29 and revised 11 years later, this piece contains the single most famous melody evoking the emotion of love ever composed. With music depicting the brooding Friar Laurence, tumults between the Montagues and Capulets, the heart-throbbing desire of the “star-crossed lovers” and their ultimate tragedy, Tchaikovsky’s treatment inspired by William Shakespeare’s play is one of the world’s greatest and best-known works of music.

For those who may find a “13th Season” superstitious, Marsden offers an alternate title: the MSO’s “Decade Plus Three Years” Season, and so will offer various composers’ third symphonies during 2014-15. The opening concert will conclude with Antonín Dvořák‘s Third Symphony in Eb, opus 10.​

Dvořák ​is universally loved for such famous music as his 9th Symphony “From the New World” and monumental Cello Concerto (both played by the MSO in past seasons) but th​e​ early third symphony remained the composer’s own favorite to his final days. Composed when he was just 31, it’s also his only symphony in three movements, and contains his longest Adagio (slow) movement as well as his shortest final movement – an explosively exciting blow-the-roof-off Czech-inspired dance in extremely fast tempo. A masterpiece in every way, it’s a nearly-unknown symphony Marsden is thrilled to introduce to the MSO’s audiences.

Tickets for the 1​3​th Season ​Opening ​Concert are ​still only ​$6 for adults and $4 for students, and are on sale at the Mariposa County Arts Council’s office at 5009 Highway 140 in Mariposa (top floor of Chocolate Soup) adjacent to the Mariposa Art Park. For information call (209) 966-3155.

Tickets are also available at the Mariposa County Visitors Center (call (209) 966-7081 for hours) across from Miners Roadhouse. Full concert information including extensive programs notes ​will be​ available on the Mariposa County Arts Council’s website:

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