Opera Scotland

Amahl and the Night Visitors


Gian-Carlo Menotti (born Cadegliano, 7 July 1911; died Monte Carlo, 1 February 2007)


The composer



First Performance (TV Broadcast): New York (NBC Studios), 24 December 1951.

First Performance (stage): Bloomington, Indiana (University), 21 February 1952.

First Performance in UK: London (Royal College of Music), 6 December 1963.

First Performance in Scotland: tbc.



Menotti's short Christmas opera, first produced on television, has been a regular fixture in seasonal broadcasts in America. Considerably less popular in Britain, it still turns up from time to time, particularly with amateur performers. It scored for a chamber orchestra, with a chorus representing shepherds and villagers.



Amahl, a boy (treble)

Amahl's mother (soprano)

Kaspar (tenor)

Melchior (baritone)

Balthazar (bsss)

Page (tenor)


Plot Summary

Amahl lives with his mother in an isolated hut. He is a cripple, and has always needed crutches to get about. A brilliant star has appeared in the night sky, and Amahl is sitting watching it when the Three Kings arrive, bearing their gifts for the Holy Child. They are given accommodation for the night, during which the mother attempts to rob them. As a penance, Amahl makes an offering of his crutch, and his legs are miraculously healed. When the Kings resume their pilgrimage in the morning, Amahl goes with them.

The Cast

 a poor, crippled shepherd boy
Amahl's Mother
 a King from the East
 a King from the East
 a King from the East
 to the Kings

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