The award-winning performance arts collaboration between the Colorado Springs Conservatory and Chamber Orchestra of the Springs has returned for the holidays. Amahl and the Night Visitors, the acclaimed Gian Carlo Menotti opera, will be performed under the direction of Maestro Thomas Wilson this Christmas season at locations across the city over several weekends.
A handful of performances throughout December will be offered at no charge to the community, thanks to local sponsors and generous benefactors who remain true to the spirit of holiday benevolence.
Amahl and the Night Visitors was originally released on Christmas Eve of 1951, premiering as the first opera ever written expressly for television. NBC aired the opera each Christmas for many years, helping make Amahl one of America's most well known and beloved seasonal operas.
The story depicts a young crippled shepherd, Amahl, who receives a visit from three traveling kings in search of a special child soon to be born. A star has guided the kings' journey and they take shelter with Amahl and his mother for a time.
Villagers assemble to pay homage to this new child, and Amahl offers up his walking stick as a gift. Amahl receives a miraculous healing for his sacrifice and departs with the searching kings.
The classic tale will be related by local operatic performers Brian Stinar (tenor), Charles Schnetzer (baritone), Wilson Jones, (bass baritone), and Linda Weise, (soprano). Students from the Colorado Springs Conservatory will assist the COS actors with musical accompaniment.
Last year's shows garnered several community accolades, including "best small ensemble, best outreach experience, and best performing arts collaboration." This year's performances, which kicked off last week at Palmer High School prior to the Festival of Lights Parade, have already been well attended and highly praised.
Catch the miracle and get in the spirit with our local musicians.
-- Matthew Schniper
Amahl and the Night Visitors
Fort Carson, McMahon Theater, Saturday, Dec. 11 at 11 a.m.
Pine Creek High School, 10750 Thunder Mountain Ave., Sunday, Dec. 12 at noon
Woodland Park Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, Saturday, Dec. 18 at 11 a.m.
UCCS Bon Vivant Theater, 3955 Cragwood Drive (northwest corner of Austin Bluffs and Union), Sunday, Dec. 19 at noon
For more, call 577-4556 or visit www.fatlady.org