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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An all-star lineup -- including David Byrne, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem), Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Money Mark, Joshua Redman, Sinkane and the legendary Lijadu Sisters of Nigeria in their first live performance in 30 years -- takes the stage at the Greek to perform the futuristic, synth-heavy electronic music of elusive Nigerian artist William Onyeabor. The evening begins with a DJ set by special guest Wooden Wisdom (Elijah Wood & Zach Cowie). Onyeabor self-released eight nearly impossible-to-find albums between 1978 and 1985 in Nigeria, but after becoming a born-again Christian turned his back on his work and refused to speak about it for nearly three decades. Last year, after a five-year odyssey to track down Onyeabor and secure his permission to release his music, the Luaka Bop label issued World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor? The album was named one of Time magazine's top ten albums of the year and Pitchfork's Best Reissue of the Year 2013. Even now, after the album's enormous success, the artist's life story remains a mystery -- and he seems content to keep it that way. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
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.