Sunday, December 22, 2013

Amahl and the Night Visitors debuted on television on December the 24th 1951- This Week in Christian History for the week of December 22th through the 28h 2013


 

Amahl and the Night Visitors is the first opera commissioned for television. Gian Carlo Menotti wrote the opera because in Italy, where he was born, there was no Santa Clause. Christmas presents were brought by the three wise men. The opera is inspired by the painting by Hieronymus Bosch’s The Adoration of the Magi.

Menotti had difficulty finishing the opera by the deadline and when he was completed the singers only had a few days to rehearse for their live performance.  Even though he wrote Ahmal and the night visitors for television, Menotti tried to make it so that it could be done on a stage as well. He specifically requested that any performances have a boy play Amahl, not a women dressed as a boy as some operas do.

An estimated five million people saw Amahl, the largest audience ever to see televised opera. The opera was televised each year from 1951-1966 and in 1978 by NBC and by the BBC in 1955 and 1959. The first three years it was presented in black and white, but then it was broadcast in color. In 1963 the opera was videotaped rather than being done live on air. Due to a dispute about the production, Menotti didn’t allow production of the opera again until 1978.

The story of Amahl and the Night Visitors starts with Amahl seeing the star outside of his home. The crippled boy has a problem with telling the truth and his mother doesn’t believe him when he tells her about it. The three kings show up and after some troubles the mother and son learn about Jesus. They have nothing to give, and Amahl decides to give Jesus his crutch, after which his legs are healed. Amahl leaves with the kings to see the baby Jesus.

My new book, would you do what they did great Christian leaders from our past is now available to order from Amazon.com here is the link: Would You Do What They Did? - Great Christian Leaders From Our Past      

It is also available to order now from anywhere that sells books. It is a collection of biographies of Martin Luther, Francis of Assisi, John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, and Thomas Becket.

Come, tame a wolf, flee from the wrath of the king, feel the horror of impending doom on a ship, and the uncertainty of one’s own salvation with these great heroes of the faith.

I have excepts of the book on my website williamdeanhamilton.net,

 Thank you for reading. Subscribe if you enjoyed.