1315 7th St SW
Amahl & The Night Visitors
GIAN CARLO MENOTTI
A heartwarming one-act family opera about a young boy who meets three kings on their way to bring gifts to the baby Jesus, and learns that giving is sometimes its own gift. The first opera composed specifically for television audiences, Gian Carlo Menotti’s tale inspired by the biblical story of the Magi and the Italian tradition of the Three Kings is a charming and uplifting story about love, faith and the true spirit of the season.
MUSICAL DIRECTOR & CONDUCTOR KIMBERLEY-ANN BARTCZAK
STAGE DIRECTOR VANESSA PORTEOUS
Featuring Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists.
Performed in the original English.
Duration: Approximately 50 minutes.
Amahl, a boy known for telling tall tales, gets around with the help of a crutch…
As he sits outside playing his shepherd's pipe, his mother calls for him to come inside. Amahl is slow to react to his mother's commands. Finally, after several attempts to get him inside, he walks into the house. Amahl tells his mom a grand story of a giant star rising high in the sky above their house. Of course, she doesn't believe him and tells him to stop bothering her.
Once the sun has set, Amahl's mother worries about her and her son's future. Before falling asleep, she prays to God that Amahl doesn't have to turn to a life of begging. Suddenly, there's a knock at the door. Amahl's mother shouts for Amahl to answer it and he happily gets out of bed. He opens the the door, and to his surprise, finds three luxuriously appointed kings. Having just traveled a long distance to deliver gifts to a child of great wonders, the Magi ask for permission to stay at their home for the remainder of the night.
Amahl's mother warmly ushers the three kings into her home. When she goes to get firewood, Amahl asks the kings about their daily lives and duties. They happily oblige, and after having answered each of his questions, they ask questions of their own. He replies that he used to be a shepherd, but after a series of hardships, his mother had to sell all their sheep.
He tells them that it won't be long before they have to turn to begging to make their living. King Kaspar opens his treasure box to show Amahl the magic stones, brightly colored beads, and candies he has brought to the Christ child. He even offers Amahl licorice. Amahl's mother comes back to find Amahl buzzing about the kings. She hollers at him to not be a nuisance and sends him out to bring back their neighbors with hopes to entertain the kings.
Later that night, after the neighbors have left and the festivities have ended, the three kings go to sleep. Amahl's mother sneaks a few gold coins for her and her son from the kings' unattended treasure boxes. The kings' page wakes up to find Amahl's mother pocketing the gold and he cries out for help to catch the thief. Amahl is woken up by the commotion and sees his mother being attacked by the page. Immediately Amahl starts fighting the page. King Melchior is able to ease the situation, and understanding Amahl and his mother's predicament, allows them to keep the gold.
He says the Christ child will not need all that gold to build his kingdom. Amahl's mother is overcome with joy when she hears of such a king and implores the Magi to take back the gold. She even offers to give a gift of her own, but sadly, she has nothing to give. Amahl, too, wishes to give a gift to the Christ child. He offers the Magi his most valuable possession - his crutch. As soon as the crutch is handed over, Amahl's leg is healed miraculously. With his mother's permission, Amahl travels with the Magi to see the Christ child in person to offer him his crutch in thanks to healing his leg.