Monday, December 24, 2012

Amahl and the Night Visitors

A Children's Opera 

written specifically for television by 

Gian Carlo Mennotti

The video offers the Original Television Broadcast
from 1951 in its entirety.


  1. Oh, I love Amahl and the Night Visitors!

    Long ago, I saw it on television. I was quite young and probably didn't appreciate the opera as much as I should have.

    When I was a teenager, I got another exposure to Amahl and the Night Visitors, when, around Christmas one year, my voice teacher portrayed the part of Mary in a local production of the opera (probably Catholic University's presentation). I appreciated the piece that time!

    Around that same time, I had the privilege of singing under the baton of Richard Wayne Dirksen, who, one summer at Washington National Cathedral, conducted the Summer Cathedral Choir as we sang from the highest tower of the cathedral, The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore.

    I find Mennotti's music absolute magic!

    Thank you, FT, for posting this video. As you can see from my blabbing on and on above, Amahl and the Night Visitors brings back a lot of happy memories for me!


    PS: I'm not usually a big fan of opera. Mennotti's works are an exception as far as I'm concerned.

  2. I will share this with Gracie when she wakes up. I keep going into her room to watch her sleep and I am so tempted to just hold her the way I did when she is an infant! She is nine now...and soon she will no longer want to be called Gracie, probably just Grace. I have such precious little time to share this magic.

    Merry Christmas, my friend!



  3. A rare find. What that our "entertainment" medium today were as considerate of its' viewers, but alas, 'tis NOT the case. :(

  4. In 1951 hopes were still high that television would act as a vehicle to bring enlightenment, refined taste and a healthy measure of erudition t the masses via the fruits of creative genius.

    That, of course, did not suit the plans and purposes of The Forces of Darkness, Decline, Decay and Deception, so they conveniently blamed the disappearance of high quality from the airwaves on pressures of "crass commercialism."

    Fortunately, artifacts such as this still exist to remind us that we really were a better nation sixty years ago than we are today.

    Once those of us -- like me -- who actually remember -- and ardently cherish -- the way things used to be have died off there will be nothing to stop the Neo-Barbarians from achieving a complete conquest of a once-ascendant Civilization.

    It might yet have been stopped if only the Church had been true to the Purpose of Jesus Christ, but of course, the Church quickly became just another self-serving temporal Power Bloc that ruled by fear and the threat of Torture and Execution in this life followed by Damnation in the next, if the ignorant masses failed to obey the dictates of Ecclesiastical Authority. And today the Church is little more than a grotesque caricature of what it ought to be.

    What these historical abuses have to do with

    For unto us a Child is born,
    Unto us a Son is given,
    And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
    And His name shall be called
    "Wonderful Counselor," "The Mighty God,"
    "The Everlasting Father," "The Prince of Peace."

    "Glory to God in the highest,
    And on earth peace, good will to men."

    "And He shall feed His flock like a shepherd
    And gather the lambs to His bosom,
    And gently lead those that are with young.

    "Come unto Him all ye that labor and are heavy-laden
    And ye shall find rest unto your souls."

    I have no idea.

    Meanwhile, all we could do is "hold fast to that which is good, render not evil for evil", trust in the Almighty Power of Saving Grace, live one day at a time, and continue to hope hope for the best.

    Thank God for the Arts! At their best and most sincere they are all that remind us there is much more to life than a vicious competitive struggle for daily bread and longed for dominance.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Sorry,

    I have little hope for the Arts. Saw "Billy Elliot" at the Hippodrome. The Left now believes and is preaching that Margaret Thatcher was the Anti-Christ.

  6. Oh come on, Thersites, you and I know our hope, if such there be, lies in a renewed and deepened appreciation of the glorious achievements of the Past.

    Take comfort in this:

    The Truth is always true no matter what the cynics and perverts would have us believe.

    Have A Helluva Good Time No Matter What!

  7. I wish you could go to the church I'm attending; it's about truth, love and has music that's amazing.

    Merry Christmas, FT!

  8. Thank you for restoring my faith! "May the death-grip that the Left currently has on the arts soon release," is my Christmas prayer. :)

  9. Thanks for being such a lively and sagacious corespondent, Thersites.

    I enjoyed your Boars Head lore and the clever rhymes that went with it over at Western Hero.

    I've scheduled a whole series of Christmas anthems and movements from Oratorios performed by the best in the business. All of that may not be your style, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

    A new Christmas piece will come out about every two hours till 8:00 AM. Then a pause till noon, when Gustav Holst's CHRISTMAS DAY, a splendid Choral Fantasy on Christmas Carols, will appear.

    More may follow depending on what transpires on the morrow.

    You Don't Need a Reason.
    To Enjoy The Season.

    ~ FT



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