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‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ is Creighton’s operatic offering for Christmas season

Opera will be the fare for the Creighton University Department of Fine and Performing Arts’ next production, “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, on the Mainstage at the Lied Education Center for the Arts.

Two performances on Dec. 4 are also scheduled at the Wilson Performing Arts Center in Red Oak, Iowa.

Just in time for the Christmas season, the opera tells the story of the Magi following the star on their way to find the Christ child. On a stopover at the home of a family living in the desert, the Wise Men, probed by the inquisitive young Amahl, lay out the reasons and inspirations for this life-changing journey.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors” is the work of Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who originally wrote the libretto, score and staging as the first opera commissioned for television. The first performance was broadcast live from the NBC Television Opera Theatre in New York City on Christmas Eve, 1951.

Creighton’s production, directed by guest director M. Michele Phillips, will feature six leads, approximately 25 chorus members and a 30-piece orchestra composed of students and volunteers from the greater Omaha area under the baton of Stephen Sheftz, director of Creighton’s BFA in musical theater. The cast at Creighton features junior musical theatre major Natalie Hanson in the lead role of Amahl, senior musical theatre major Rachel Schmidt as Amahl’s mother, Nik Whitcomb as King Kaspar, Sam McKinney as King Melchior, Danny Carraher as King Balthazar, and Andreas Guevara as the page.

Set design is by Bill Van Deest, costume design is by Lindsay Pape, technical direction is by Mark Krejci and lighting design is by Hunter Froelich and Clara Johnson.

Creighton’s production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” has been entered as a participating production in Region 5 of the Kennedy Center American Collegiate Theatre Festival.

Showtimes for the performances at Creighton will be at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 3. For ticket information, visit the Creighton Box Office online or call 402-280-1448. The productions at the Wilson Performing Arts Center in Red Oak are set for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Dec. 4. For ticket information at the Wilson Performing Arts Center, call 712-623-3135.

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