On 5 December 2015, 19:00 at the Centurion Theatre, opera lovers may enjoy the full production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera written for Christmas time, Amahl and the Night Visitors.
This is a crowdfunded event and can only happen if 80 people pledge. Pledges for this concert are available on a first come first serve basis.
The first 80 pledges are available from the 12 November 2015 at R120 and the rest thereafter at R150 per ticket – please visit http://www.citysoiree.co.za/events/ to make your pledge.
In 1951 Menotti wrote this opera commissioned by Peter Herman Adler, chief executive of the National Broadcasting Company of the USA, to be screened on television. Both the libretto and composition were written by Menotti. This one act opera tells the story of Amahl, a disabled little boy, who is miraculously healed.
The three magi, on their journey to the Holy Child, stay over at the impoverished household of Amahl and his mother. These three kings bear many precious gifts and Amahl’s mother is caught stealing gold in order to help her disabled son. The three kings forgive her for her misdeed and insists that she keeps the gold. Nevertheless, she tries to return it and Amahl offers his shepherd’s rod, doubling as a crutch when he realises that he can walk without it. Amahl then joins the magi on their journey to pay homage to the Holy Child.
Amahl and the Night Visitors was inspired by Hieronymous Bosch’s painting ‘Adoration of the Magi’ where the three wise men pay homage to the Christ Child. Menotti comments the following in the programme of the first performance: “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. I suppose that Santa Claus is much too busy with American children to be able to handle Italian children as well. Our gifts were brought to us by the Three Kings, instead.”
This production is directed by the well-known baritone, Danie Verster, and the role of Amahl is sung by one of his students, Marli Albertse (soprano). Linette van der Merwe (mezzo soprano) sings the role of Amahl’s mother and Chris Mostert (tenor), Coert Grobbelaar (tenor) and Rex Nigrini (bass-baritone) may be seen in the roles ofthe three magi; Kings Kaspar, Melchior en Balthasar. Stéphanie-Claire Hansen (soprano) sings the role of the servant. The choir of villagers and shepherds will be sung by the choir of Hoërskool Waterkloof. The singers are accompanied by the Sempre Opera Ensemble and piano by Rudolf Geldenhuis under the baton of conductor, Schalk van der Merwe.