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ap­peal the com­pany is look­ing to pro­vide. Fam­i­lies are en­cour­aged to bring blan­kets and dine at the venue, ei­ther by bring­ing their own pic­nics or by pur­chas­ing boxed din­ners pro­vided by lo­cal cater­ers. The on­go­ing de­sire to ap­peal to a broader au­di­ence con­trib­uted to the group’s evo­lu­tion. The opera be­gan pro­vid­ing out­door events a few years ago while on the cusp of iden­ti­fy­ing its next steps in ful­fill­ing its mis­sion.

“We thought about what the au­di­ences en­joyed best when com­ing to the area, and why,” Holt says. “And pro­vid­ing a free or low-cost out­door event to pro­mote to va­ca­tion­ers seemed like the log­i­cal next step.”

Pre­vi­ous out­door con­certs were well re­ceived, with some at­tract­ing thou­sands of guests, in part be­cause of the prox­im­ity to the water­front and what Holt iden­ti­fies as a de­sire to con­nect with fam­ily and friends at a qual­ity event.

“Our shows def­i­nitely bring a level of cul­ture to the area,” he says, adding that past se­ries like “Sum­mer Mu­sic at Hark­ness” acted as a pos­i­tive plat­form for groups like the opera.

And Holt an­tic­i­pates the opera’s op­tions will con­tinue to ex­pand, even­tu­ally al­low­ing for year-round per­for­mances to en­hance their other ac­tiv­i­ties, which in­clude recitals and dis­cus­sions.

While the per­for­mances them­selves are a main fo­cus, the opera is equally com­mit­ted to the ed­u­ca­tional com­po­nent of their work through outreach pro­grams and the Salt Marsh Opera Guild, formed in 2008, to fo­cus on ad­vo­cacy and vol­un­teerism. And all of it is driv­ing the same goal— to get more peo­ple in­volved, en­gaged and fall­ing in love with the opera ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The au­di­ence is just as im­por­tant as the singers them­selves,” Holt says. “With­out them, there is no point in do­ing what we do.”

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