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December 3, 2013

Indianapolis Opera presents 'Amahl and the Night Visitors'

The Indianapolis Opera helps usher in the holiday season with a presentation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” Dec. 6 through 15 at the Basile Opera Center, 4011 N. Pennsylvania St.

Menotti brought opera into American living rooms with the televised Christmas Eve 1951 debut of this Christmas classic, performed by the NBC Television Theater. Since then, this opera has been staged more than 2,500 times around the world.

It tells of the night the Three Kings, following the Star of Bethlehem, stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor crippled shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother. Inspired by the Wise Men’s talk of a kingdom “built of love alone,” Amahl offers his own simple gift to the Christ Child — and experiences a miracle.

Italian born but calling himself an American composer for the half-century he spent in the United States, Menotti wrote his first opera when he was 11. He went on to become the most prolific opera composer of his time and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. The New York Times called his music “attractive and unfailingly lyrical,” while the LA Times named Menotti “the toast of opera” whose work “generated the hope that a viable repertoire of American operas was being established at last.”

At approximately 50 minutes long, performed in English, and with a young boy in the starring role, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” is family friendly. The Indianapolis Opera also is offering accoutrements like pre-show crafts and activities and discounted ticket packages for families. Contact Maria Souza at 283-3470 or marias@indyopera.org for specials.

Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays, 7 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays Dec. 6 through 15. Single tickets start at $25. Call (800) 745-3000 or visit IndyOpera.org for more information.

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