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Amahl and the Night Visitors
by Gian Carlo Menotti


Dates & Locations

  • November 9 and 11, 2006, 7:00 and 8:30 pm - Camp Hill United Methodist Church. (417 S. 22nd St. , Camp Hill , Pa. 17070), Adults: $15, Students 10 and over: $10, Students and children under 10: $5
  • November 17, 2006, 7:00 and 8:30 pm - Gettysburg Theological Seminary Chapel (Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, Pa. 17325), Adults: $15, Students 10 and over: $10, Students and children under 10: $5
  • November 18, 2006, 7:00 and 8:30 pm - Pullo Family Performing Arts Center (1031 Edgecomb Ave. on the Penn State York Campus, York PA 17409), Adults: $20, Students 10 and over: $10, Students and children under 10: $5


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AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS is a one-act opera written by Gian Carlo Menotti on an original English libretto written by the composer. The composer was commissioned by NBC to write this opera to be presented on television sometime during the Christmas season. It is the first opera written specifically for presentation on television, and it was first shown on the evening of December 24, 1951. It was destined to become an annual television tradition. For years it was televised live, but in 1963 it was videotaped with an all-new cast, and this version was televised from 1963-1966. It was absent from television until 1978 when a new version was presented, filmed by NBC partly on location in the Holy Land. It is probably safe to say that it is the most performed opera in the world. Each Christmas season groups, small and large, amateur and professional, perform this opera to adoring audiences.

The story of the opera is quite simple. The Three Kings, on their way to Bethlehem, following the star in the East, stop for a night at the home of Amahl, a crippled boy,  and his mother. The Kings describe their journey and the Child whom they are seeking, a wondrous Child, and display the gifts that they are taking to this Child. After neighbors, who have come to see the Kings, leave, those in the hut prepare to sleep. The mother, however, cannot sleep. Thinking of her impoverished state and the life that her son must lead, she steals the gold meant for the other Child. The Kings’ Page awakens, grabs the mother, and awakens the Kings. However, Melchior tells the mother to keep the gold because the Child they seek has no use for earthly power or wealth. When Amahl offers his crutch to the Kings to take to this Child, he is miraculously cured. Happily, he goes with the Kings to find the Child and to give thanks for his healing.

The opera is immediately appealing to one and all who see and hear it. The music is lyrical and beautiful; the action is not without its humorous moments, and the message (the wondrous power of love) is quite evident and moving. These qualities make this opera an excellent opportunity for parents who wish to introduce their children to opera. If the “test of time” is one criterion used to judge the significance of a work of art, certainly AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS would pass that test with “flying colors”!!

Center Stage Opera

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