Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helen Carroll
PORTALES—Amahland the Night Visitors returns to Eastern New Mexico University after17 years. Directed by Dr. Roberto Mancusi, assistant professor ofvoice, this Christmas opera is a favorite of the faculty and members ofthe surrounding community.
Itwill be presented on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, at2 p.m. (special show for families with small children), Saturday, Dec.3 at 7:30 p.m. (special show with faculty and community members in thelead roles), and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m.
Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 students under 18, and $4 ENMU students.
"Whilewe were still discussing whether or not to do the production, people inthe community got wind of it and were very excited it was coming back,"said Mancusi. "This makes it a homecoming of sorts."
Itis easy to see why the opera is a favorite. It is the story of a poorwidow and her crippled son, Amahl, who are visited one night by theThree Kings who are on their way to see the baby Jesus. The kings stopby Amahl's house and ask for shelter for the night. The events of thatevening are the story of the opera.
Thecast of this production is rather unique because it is made up ofstudents and faculty. Mancusi says this is a great way for students tobenefit from working with faculty members who have been part of theproduction in the past.
Mancusisays that part of the production's charm is that the setting is veryintimate. Taking place in Buchanan Hall with only one set, the opera isabout 50 minutes long.
Accordingto Mancusi, Gian Carlo Menotti originally wrote the piece fortelevision. The story was inspired by a painting by Hieronymus Bosch,in which the Three Kings are depicted offering their gifts to theChrist child and the Mother Mary. When the story was aired on NBC in1951, only the most privileged families had televisions in their homes.It has been speculated that Menotti tells the story about Amahl'spoverty-stricken family through musical numbers like "All That Gold" inan effort to subtly remind the upper class of the time that there wereless fortunate people all around them.
Mancusiis looking forward to the production. "Comedy, tragedy, and a Christmasmiracle make this a wonderful way to start the holiday season."
For ticket information, call 505.562.2371 or 505.562.2561, or e-mail Roberto.email@example.com.