With the sun setting in a hazy western sky, the Boston Symphony Orchestra returned to Tanglewood on Friday to open its 76th season.
The lawns around the Koussevitzky Music Shed were filling rapidly about an hour prior to the All-Tchaikovsky Opening Night concert. The weather cooperated with a slight breeze through the trees, lifting the oppressive heat of the day.
"What's more pleasant than this?" said Bart Curcio of East Otis, who comes to Tanglewood a few times each season. "What could be better? Food, good friends."
As lawn space disappeared under folding chairs and small tables with wine bottles; blankets, coolers, picnic baskets, small tents and umbrellas, food smells drifted over the mellow crowd and the muted conversations and light laughter.
"We probably come three or four times a summer," said Elizabeth Hough of West Sand Lake, N.Y. "We've been doing it for a zillion years. We like listening to the magnificent music and being outside."
Sue Berger, from Westchester County, N.Y., said Tanglewood "is a lovely place and easy to get to from where we live."
She and her husband, David, usually spend a weekend in the area when they come.
Jean Cherdack of Ashfield, who is working as a volunteer lawn usher at Tanglewood this season, said she and her husband began coming to the venue 25 years ago when they lived in New Jersey. Now that they're retired, she said, she is beginning her second year volunteering.
"What's not to like about Tanglewood?" she said.
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