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October 24, 2013

Worth noting: Symphony by Sea launches 33rd season

A lot of time and effort goes into planning a Symphony by the Sea concert.

For the chamber orchestra’s season-opening concerts tonight and Sunday, music director and conductor Donald Palma put a lot of thought into his selection of arias and choruses by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Mozart and others.

“I spent months putting this program together and getting the right mix of pieces and the right order,” Palma said. “It’s kind of a compilation of some of the greatest operatic chestnuts or gems combined with some lesser-known pieces.”

In celebration of its 33rd season, the North Shore-based orchestra is continuing its efforts to reach out to younger audiences by offering a $10 discount on tickets to those age 33 and under.

“I think it’s really important to reach out to the younger generations to come in and have that concert experience,” Palma said. “The idea of the programming is that it’s music that’s accessible, it can be entertaining, but at the same time, it can also stimulate your emotions, your intellect, all those things that great music is meant to do.”

The group also hopes to widen its accessibility by adding a new venue next year, with two spring concerts taking place in the Firehouse Center for the Arts.

“We’re looking forward to being right in downtown Newburyport,” Palma said.

This Sunday’s concert, called “Rejoice: An Opera Gala,” will be held at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, where Symphony by the Sea has been performing regularly. “Rejoice” will also be presented tonight at Abbot Hall in Marblehead.

In addition to the orchestra, the concert will feature the Endicott Singers, a group of 38 students from Endicott College in Beverly directed by Rebecca Kenneally, and soloists Sara Heaton and Joshua Dennis.

Heaton, who also performed in last season’s Opera Gala, has sung with Santa Fe Opera’s Spring Opera Tour.

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