, Salem, MA

Local News

November 22, 2012

Symphony tells Babar the elephant's story


Palma is keeping the title a secret, because it would reveal too much about how the orchestra operates, when it tells a story in this composition.

Black will follow, showcasing the ways an unaccompanied human voice can not only tell a story with words, but also through its dramatic ability to create moods and imitate sounds.

In addition, the program will feature Mozart’s overture to the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” and his playful composition called “The Musical Joke.”

“He was a great jokester,” Palma said.

An added attraction for the youngest audience members, who are encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed animal, will be a celebration of teddy bears.

This program’s mixture of fiction and fun, pleasure and instruction for all ages is part of Symphony by the Sea’s attempt to broaden its appeal.

“Ages ago, Symphony by the Sea had family concerts,” said Matt Sagal, a member of the symphony’s board. “We have a tradition of educating kids in family concerts in the past. Last year, we decided to start again.”

Sagal’s son Peter, who hosts the humorous radio quiz show “Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me” on National Public Radio, revived the series last year.

“It was a huge success,” Matt Sagal said, bringing more than 600 people to Abbot Hall to hear his son narrate another famous children’s story, “Peter and the Wolf,” which was set to music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

“Peter was a tough act to follow, but Judith Black is a known quantity to families on the North Shore, and we’re happy to have her,” Sagal said. “Everyone should have a great time.”

In addition to concerts for the whole family, the season will also include a program of romantic music on Valentine’s Day and has already featured an opera night.

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