Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Little Bit of Broadway

Amahl and the Night VisitorsI

It’s time for Holiday shows and this week it’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Commissioned by NBC, it debuted on the Hallmark Hall of Fame on Christmas Eve 1951 and has gone one to be one of the most performed holiday “operas”. The appealing story of the young crippled boy and his mother, who entertain three kings from afar, became instantly a holiday classic. The original broadcast, recorded on kinescope, was thought for years to be lost, but a copy was found, transferred to video and can be seen online at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Principal roles (original cast)
Amahl (a crippled boy of about age 12) -
boy soprano - Chet Allen
His Mother -
mezzo-soprano - Rosemary Kuhlmann
King
Kaspar (slightly deaf) - tenor - Andrew McKinley
King
Melchior - baritone - David Aiken
King
Balthazar - bass - Leon Lishner

Minor roles
The Page (bass) - Francis Monachino
Dancing Shepherds - Melissa Hayden, Glen Tetley and Nicholas Magallanes
Shepherds and villagers - Chorus

The orchestra was composed of members of the NBC "Symphony of the Air" conducted by Thomas Schippers.


Music and libretti: Gian Carlo Menotti , inspired by The Adoration of the Magi by Hieronymus Bosch

Music:
Amahl! Amahl!
Oh, Mother, you should go out and see!
Stop bothering me!
Poor Amahl!
Don't cry, Mother dear
From far away we come
Amahl...Yes, Mother
Good evening! Good evening!
Come in, come in!
Are you a real King?
This is my box
Amahl, I told you not to be a nuisance!
Oh, these beautiful things
Have you seen a Child
Shepherds! Shepherdess!
Emily, Emily
Olives and quinces
Shepherds' Dance
Thank you, good friends
All that gold!
Thief! Thief!
Don't you dare!
Oh, woman, you can keep the gold
Oh, no, wait
I walk, Mother
Do you really want to go?
Shepherds, arise!


A couple of Christmas songs from Broadway
Greenwillow Christmas Carol -- from Greenwillow (original cast)
White Christmas - originally from the film Holiday Inn, then the film White Christmas, and now the stage musical White Christmas - sung by Mel Torme

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