Laughing all the way with MSO holiday concert

The Mariposa Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming Festive Holiday Concert scheduled for Dec. 19 features no fewer than four musical sleigh rides, which founder and conductor Les Marsden suggests is appropriate given weather forecasts and a snowy season to date.

The evening will open with the overture to Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” one of the best-loved comedic pieces in the classical repertoire, and well known from its many uses in pup culture, most prominently in the 1983 film “Trading Places.”

Following that will piece will be the concert suite from the 1934 Soviet-era film “Lt. Kijé” by 20th-century master Serge Prokofiev.

The suite includes the famed “Troika” movement - a sleigh ride through the Russian countryside immediately recognizable to even a casual listener.

Two more sleigh rides follow, those of British composer Frederick Delius and the famed classic by American light composer Leroy Anderson.

Also on the program will be the “Evening Prayer and Dream Pantomime” from German composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s beloved 1893 opera “Hänsel und Gretel.”

The concert will also include the Intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni's opera "Cavalleria Rusticana" - tellingly used in the film "Raging Bull," the late local composer Dr. Phillip Smith's "Dr. Smith's Christmas Fantasy," Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Greensleeves Fantasy," and the concluding piece, Les Marsden's "Sierra Christmas Party," including that fourth and final musical sleigh ride.

Tickets for thethe concert, which will begin 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, are only $6 for adults and $4 for students. Tickets are now available for secure online purchase by visiting the Mariposa County Arts Council at

Tickets are also available in person at the Arts Council's office/Treetop Gallery on the top floor of the Chocolate Soup store at the southern entrance to the town of Mariposa. Call (209) 966-3155 for hours and information.

Tickets are also available at the Mariposa Visitors Center at the north end of town, directly opposite Miners Roadhouse; call (209) 966-7081 for hours.

More concert information is available at E-mail and ask to be added to the private, exclusive "Friends of the MSO" e-list.