Amahl and the Night Visitors: Christmas Opera at Pasadena Playhouse
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The last date listed for Amahl and the Night Visitors was Sunday December 11, 2011 / 7:00pm.
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Zora Neale Hurston was a writer, anthropologist, voodoo priestess and overall Renaissance woman. Drawing inspiration from Hurston's personal letters, novelist Gabrielle Pina pieces together a provocative play about this extraordinary figure whose life was filled with artistic triumphs as well as abject poverty and self-doubt. Letters From Zora explores Hurston's controversial views on integration, segregation and social justice. Veteran actress Vanessa Bell Calloway plays the role of Zora, and Anita Dashiell-Sparks directs this multimedia production featuring live music composed by Ron McCurdy and archival images collected by Margie Labadie. Discover Hurston's prose, her distinctive group of friends and foes and her unique view of a jazz-age world. Learn More
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No child growing up in the 1950s or 1960s could consider his or her Christmas complete without an annual viewing of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl And The Night Visitors, the first opera specifically composed for American television. This fifteen-year tradition ended in 1966, when the rights to a 1963 taping reverted to Menotti, who refused to allow this version (one which he disapproved of) ever to be shown again, thereby depriving later generations of one of the most extraordinary of holiday memories. An imperfect VHS-to-DVD transfer of a 1955 black-and-white kinescope is currently the only in-print version available to parents wanting to share the Amahl experience with their children, or boomers wishing to relive childhood memories.
Amahl, a shepherd, tries to tell his mother about what he has seen outside; an enormous star with a long tale. His mother, used to his habitual lying, grows angry; she is even angrier when Amahl tells he that a knock at the door is three kings come to visit them. The kings enter and tell the two peasants that they have come to find a king, and they show the rich gifts they have brought him. While Amahl’s mother is out gathering wood for the fire, Amahl asks the kings questions about their lives. The mother returns with her neighbors, and the villagers present their gifts to the visitors. That night, Amahl’s mother tries to steal some of the kings’ gold to use to help her child; she is caught, and when the kings offer to let her keep the gold, explaining that the king they seek will need nothing but love to rule his kingdom, she returns it. Amahl offers his staff as an additional gift, and suddenly finds that he can walk. He leaves with the kings to pay homage to the child who has healed him.
This show runs 90 minutes with no intermission, and is recommended for ages 7 and older.