Opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” – with Tacoma Opera singers and director – at St. Luke’s Episcopal, Tacoma
This weekend sees a first for me: Usually I’m the one watching and writing about local opera, but this Saturday and Sunday I’m in one. It’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” the sweet-and-short opera by Gian-Carlo Menotti about the Three Kings of the Christmas story; and the production is at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Tacoma, featuring members and a director from Tacoma Opera as well as church singers.
Don’t expect to see me on stage, though – my voice isn’t that good. No, I’ll be accompanying on piano, along with a harpist. It isn’t the first opera I’ve played for by any measure – my former career was playing double bass for symphony and opera orchestras – but it’s my first in Tacoma.
And the other first for me is seeing my two kids singing in an opera: my son in the children’s chorus, and my daughter in the lead role of Amahl.
“Amahl” was the first opera written just for TV, in 1951, and as such it’s very approachable for those of us who can’t sit through Verdi or Wagner. Just 50 minutes long, its music is modern yet sweet and tonal, with harmonious duets and witty humor. It tells (in English) the story of the Three Kings from the point of view of a poor crippled shepherd boy, Amahl, who gets a visit from the kings as they make their way to Bethlehem. Read more »