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‘Amahl, Night Visitors’ Visit Eastern

Published on December 18, 2017

‘Amahl, Night Visitors’ Visit Eastern

A talented cast of Eastern Connecticut State University students, alumni, faculty and staff recently performed in “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on Dec. 2 to celebrate the holiday season. Composed by Gian Carlo Menotti, the opera tells the story of the Magi from the point of view of a young disabled boy named Amahl and his widowed mother.

Among the cast was Samantha Price ’19 of Cheshire. Price majors in Visual Arts and English.

The production was directed by Emily Riggs, professor of music and voice, and Pete Perreira.

The first opera ever commissioned for television, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” made its world premiere on Christmas Eve 1951 on NBC. Menotti drew heavily from his childhood in Italy when composing the production, stating in an interview, “This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood. You see… when I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus… Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings, instead.”

Performed in Eastern’s state-of-the-art Fine Arts Instructional Center Concert Hall, the production captured the wonder of the hoiday seasons and entertained Eastern students, faculty, staff and community members.

Amahl, a poor, disabled boy from just outside of Bethlehem sees a large bright star in the sky one night and tells his mother. However, as he is known for his vivid imagination and tall tales, Amahl’s mother dismissed his claims.That night, three kinds stop to rest in their home for the night, as they have traveled a long way following the star that Amahl saw in the sky. The three kings show Amahl the jewels and gifts they are bringing to the new born king and Amahl goes to sleep for the night. Poverty-stricken and hoping to improve Amahl’s quality of life, Amahl’s mother tries to steal some of the valuables brought by the three kings but is caught. Despite the kings generous offer for her to keep the gold, she returns it after hearing about the child that will need nothing but love to rule his kingdom. Amahl, hoping to offer an additional gift to the child, offers his most prized possession, his crutch. However, he finds shortly after offering his crutch that he is able to walk.

Written by Jolene Potter

Categories: Theatre