Gian-Carlo Menotti’s AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS
St John’s Smith Square, London: 16 December 3pm
St Mary’s Church, Bampton, Oxfordshire: 21 December 7.30pm
Semi-staged production, performed in Menotti’s 2-piano version
Conductor/pianist – Anthony Kraus
Pianist – Keval Shah (winner of Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition Accompanists’ Prize 2017)
Mother – Emma Stannard (winner of Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2017)
Director – Jeremy Gray
Gian-Carlo Menotti’s much-loved Christmas opera was commissioned in America by the National Broadcasting Company and was broadcast in 1951 – the first-ever opera composed specifically for television. Menotti said that it ‘is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood’.
Amahl, a poor widow’s son, who can only walk with the help of a crutch, is amazed one evening to see a huge star hovering over their house. Three regally dressed strangers arrive and seek shelter for the night. For Amahl, these wondrous events lead to a miraculous healing and his own long journey to follow the star.
Bampton Classical Opera, well known for their performances of rare eighteenth-century opera, bring this magical twentieth-century classic on Sunday December 16 to the annual St John’s Smith Square Christmas Festival (and also the St John’s ‘Americana’ Festival), in a new semi-staged production in costume especially aimed at families and children. This will be followed by another performance at St Mary’s Church, Bampton, Oxfordshire on 21 December, the annual St Beornwald’s Day concert in Bampton.
The Mother is played by Emma Stannard, winner of the Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2017, and the role of the boy Amahl is taken by 11-year-old Felix Gillingwater, chorister at Southwark Cathedral. The conductor is Anthony Kraus, formerly with Opera North, who is also one of the pianists in Menotti’s own exciting arrangement for two pianos. The second pianist is Keval Shah, who won the Accompanists’ Prize in the Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2017, when he accompanied Emma Stannard.
Amahl – Felix Gillingwater
Mother – Emma Stannard
Kaspar – Nick Sales
Melchior – Samuel Pantcheff
Balthazar – Robert Winslade Anderson
Page – Xavier Hetherington
St John’s Smith Square, 16 December 3pm
Promoted by Bampton Classical Opera
Tickets: £25 adults, £6 children under 11 years old.
Booking by telephone: 020 7222 1061
By Post: St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
St Mary’s Church, Bampton, Oxfordshire OX18 2LW, 21 December 7.30pm
Booking opens 1 November
Tickets: £15 adults, £5 children under 11 years old
Booking by telephone: 01993 851142