Acclaimed Christmas opera comes to area

GENESEE COUNTY — Flint School of Performing Arts announces its first ever presentation of Amahl and the Night Visitors, the internationally acclaimed opera at Faith Tabernacle Church, 1225 South Center Road, Burton.

Performances will be held on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, 706 Beach St., Flint and Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. at Woodside Church, 1509 E. Court St., Flint.

To begin the program for Dec.. 9 and 11 at Faith Tabernacle Church, recording artist Pastor Seon Thompson will perform contemporary gospel holiday music as part of a preopera concert.

Amahl and the Night Visitors tells the story of the three Magi enroute to Bethlehem, who stop for the night at the home of a poor widow and her little boy, who cannot walk. When the Magi prepare to leave, a miracle occurs.

Amahl and the Night Visitors is an opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti. It was commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on Dec. 24, 1951, in New York City at NBC studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, where it was broadcast live on television as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in America.

Menotti was inspired by The Adoration of the Magi (Hieronymus Bosch, died 1516) to create Amahl and the Night Visitors. Menotti was commissioned by Peter Herman Adler, director of NBC’s new opera programming, to write the first opera for television.

Amahl was seen on 35 NBC affiliates coast to coast, the largest network hookup for an opera broadcast to that date. An estimated five million people saw the live broadcast, the largest audience ever to see a televised opera.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and $20 for a family ticket for up to four people. Details: Call 810-237-3122 or visit the — G.G.

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