This holiday season the Intimate Opera Of Pasadena – the Opera Company in residence at the historic Pasadena Playhouse – will present Gian Carlo Menotti”™s classic Holiday opera, Amahl And The Night Visitors.
The celebrity cast will include mezzo-soprano Suzanna GuzmÃ¡n, who performed the role of Amahl”™s mother under the direction of composer Gian Carlo Menotti, also tenor Greg Fedderly, baritone Robin Buck and bass baritone Cedric Berry. In addition to Guzman, artists who will bring to life director Stephanie Vlahos”™ vision for an especially Â “˜unique and fresh”™ production of Amahl and the Night Visitors include boy sopranos Caleb Glickman and Leighton Sackby who will perform in the role of Amahl.
Actor Malcolm McDowell will also join the cast as narrator of A Child”™s Christmas in Wales by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.
Do you know the story of Amahl and the Night Visitors? It was commissioned back in the fifties by NBC for a special holiday evening broadcast and became hugely popular. How could it not be? It”™s family friendly and a perfect way to celebrate the real meaning of the holiday season.
It”™s the sweet story of a crippled shepherd boy, Amahl, and his Mother who are visited one night by three mysterious kings following a giant star that has suddenly appeared in the sky. Amahl accompanies the men on their quest to a manger in Bethlehem and is healed.
Because Amahl is only 45 minutes long, the evenings festivities also include a reading of Dylan Thomas”™ A Child”™s Christmas in Wales. Legendary actor Malcolm McDowell will perform this poem live.Â Exciting!
Their chorus of shepherds consists of members of the Pasadena Master Chorale, with the orchestra conducted by PMC”™s Artistic Director, Jeffrey Bernstein. This was a very deliberate choice on their part; it reveals how the Intimate Opera Of Pasadena“™s mission extends into the community, offering performance opportunities not only to emerging artists but also to fellow musical organizations throughout Southern California.
In the midst of rehearsals for Gian Carlo Menotti”™s classic holiday opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors – which Intimate Opera of Pasadena (IOP) will present at the historic Pasadena Playhouse on December 16 at 8 p.m., December 17 at 8 p.m., December 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and December 19 at 2 p.m. – mezzo soprano Suzanna GuzmÃ¡n still recalls with a smile the words the composer uttered when he directed her in the one-act opera at Washington DC”™s Kennedy Center: “Finally, a mother who looks like she is starving!”
“I loved Gian Carlo,” recalls GuzmÃ¡n, who received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical for her Kennedy Center portrayal of the Mother of Amahl, the crippled shepherd boy who is healed when he unexpectedly accompanies three kings on a visit to a manger in Bethlehem. “It was a dream come true to work with him. Gian Carlo was an amazing director. He loved the theater so much. He would find a spare costume and, with no warning, he would appear on stage during a performance. Once, I went to take a glass of champagne from one of the servants and it was Gian Carlo.”
Also collaborating with Intimate Opera of Pasadena for these holiday performances are actors Malcolm McDowell and Matthew Benham, who will narrate the A Child”™s Christmas in Wales by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas after the conclusion of Amahl and the Night Visitors during the evening performances. ***NB*** McDowell will narrate the evening performances; Benham, the matinees.
Staged and directed by Stephanie Vlahos, and conducted by Jeffrey Bernstein.
Tickets for Amahl and the Night Visitors are now available online.Â A gala opening performance will take place Thursday, December 16, at 8 p.m., with tickets ranging from $60 to $100/person. Patrons interested in attending the gala dinner with the artists and creative team following the opening night performance should call 626.274.7342 or email [email protected] for more information.
Performances will also be held on Friday, December 17 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, December 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, December 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets for these productions range from $35 to $75.
Intimate Opera of Pasadena – Amahl and the Night Visitors
Gian Carlo Menotti”™s one act classic holiday opera.
Guest artists include mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman, tenor Greg Fedderly, baritone Robin Buck and bass baritone Cedric Berry.
A Child”™s Christmas in Wales by poet Dylan Thomas, narrated by Malcolm McDowell
Thursday, December 16 at 8 p.m. (Gala performance)
Friday, December 17 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, December 19 at 2 p.m.
39 So El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA. 91101
From $35.00 to $75.00
For more information:
Visit their official site or call 626.274.7342
Report by Pauline Adamek