Immanuel Lutheran Church, Amherst, MA, presents
"Amahl and the Night Visitors"
A beloved Christmas opera by Gian-Carlo Menotti
Open dress rehearsal: Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 5 PM
Main performance: Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 5 PM
Immanuel Lutheran Church of Amherst presented the opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, by Gian-Carlo Menotti, on Sunday, December 12 at 5 PM, with an open dress rehearsal on the day before, Saturday, December 11, also at 5 PM.
The part of Amahl will be played by Brandon Dallmann with Yvonne Field as Amahl's mother. Junius Harris, Jack Stebbins, and Robert Weaver are the three kings. The part of the Page will be played by Jonathan Niedzielski, and the Immanuel Choir will also participate as the Shepherds Chorus.
Playing the title role, Brandon Dallmann is 11 years old and already a veteran of musical performance having been Oliver in the Starlight Theater's production of that musical last year. Yvonne Field is an accomplished opera singer having performed for many years in the area. The dancers range in age from 8-11, and the oldest performers are in their 70s. This program features a wonderful mélange of professional and amateur singers and instrumentalists.
This is a wonderful work about the three kings who, following the star to seek the newborn King, stop for rest at a shepherd's home. It is a heart-warming story, with humor, pathos, and lovely music; it touches on pertinent issues of parent-child, rich-poor, truth-lies, giving-taking; and it all happens in less than an hour.
Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007) composed his first songs at age 7 and his first opera at age 11. Born in Italy, he moved to the United States and completed his formal training at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. A prolific composer who always wrote both words and music for his works, his operas include Amelia Goes to the Ball, The Telephone, The Medium, The Old Maid and the Thief, and, most beloved of all, Amahl and the Night Visitors.
In 1951, Menotti was commissioned by NBC
to compose an opera for television. He was feeling stuck, without any
ideas; it was November and the deadline of Christmas was approaching.
He happened to be walking through the Metropolitan Museum in New York
and stopped to look at the painting Adoration of the Maji by Hieronymus
Bosch. This triggered in him all sorts of memories of his childhood
in Italy, where the Three Kings brought the children gifts at Christmas
time. This was the inspiration for Amahl.