The theatre department will perform a rendition of the classic Christmas operetta, “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” for their 26th annual Opera Workshop this weekend. Voice professor Melissa Osmand and piano instructor Debra Wyse are directing.
“‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ is very historically significant,” junior cast member Gabriel Kramer said. “It was originally written for a TV broadcast and has a cult following which has helped it stand the test of time.”
The operetta was originally performed live on NBC in 1951 after the studio commissioned Italian-born Gian Carlo Menotti to write a Christmas-themed operetta for the station. It was the first opera written specifically for television in the United States.
“The performance is Christmas themed this year so people can get into the Christmas season,” sophomore cast member Harvey Peters said.
‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ tells the story of a disabled boy and his mother, who are visited by the three Wise Men on their way to and from visiting the baby Jesus.
“The whole performance will be very short at only around 45 minutes,” Kramer said. “I feel like this will bring a crowd because people don’t want to sit through a full length opera right before finals.”
Each performance will be put on by a different cast of students, allowing for different takes on the classic operetta. As a result, the cast is larger than it has been in previous years.
“We’ve put in a lot of work and it will be an opportunity for students to witness a 20th century operetta,” Peters said. “That opportunity doesn’t show up much in rural Michigan.”
The performance will be held on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in McNamara Recital Hall.