A Generous Gift from The John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation Brings Michigan Opera Theatre to The War Memorial for the timeless holiday opera Amahl and the Night Visitors

Michigan Opera Theatre will return to The War Memorial for Gian Carlo Menotti’s classic holiday opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, on Sunday, December 9, 2018. Presented through the generous support of The John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation, two performances will be offered at 2pm and 6:30pm. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12. This family-friendly performance will take place in The War Memorial’s Patriot Theater.

Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors retells the classic nativity tale from the point of view of Amahl, a boy with a lame leg, and his mother, as they encounter the three kings on their journey to Bethlehem. Through their interactions, a story of faith, charity, and love unfolds. The opera, which runs about an hour in length, is performed in English and accompanied by a chamber orchestra.

“The War Memorial is beyond thrilled to bring this classic opera to the community,” said War Memorial President and CEO Charles Burke. “In the fifth grade, I had the distinct privilege of playing Amahl in this very production. I can confidently say that this opera will remind guests of the true spirit of the holiday season and show that nothing can replace the feeling of pure joy that a live performance can provide!”

This performance at The War Memorial is made possible through a gift provided by The John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation. “Our family feels blessed to be a part of this wonderful story that points directly to the true Christmas story,” said Kristine Boll Mestdagh, Executive Director of the Boll Foundation. “Find the historic Christmas story in Luke 2, and we wish everyone a blessed Christmas season!”

Amahl was the first opera every commissioned for television and was broadcasted live in 1951, leaving a significant impact on contemporary opera. Michigan Opera Theatre’s performance will be directed by Jennifer Williams and conducted by Oriol San. The production will feature Cheyanne Coss as The Mother, Michael Day as King Kaspar, Harry Greenleaf as King Melchior, Allen Michael Jones as King Balthazar, and Branden C.S. Hood as The Page. Grosse Pointe resident, Ashton Fell, a seventh-grade student at Brownell Middle School will perform the role of Amahl at select performances.

“We are so fortunate to have partners like Michigan Opera Theater, who return to The War Memorial time and time again to provide our guests with world class performances,” said Brooks Hoste, War Memorial Vice President of Community Engagement and Programming. “Whether guests are experiencing their first live opera performance, or this is their hundredth time seeing this production, they will enjoy the magnificent way Michigan Opera Theatre tells such a familiar tale in The War Memorial’s Patriot Theater.”

The performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors will serve as a reminder that The Patriot Theater is a world-class performing arts center, providing exceptional performances and experiences for those in southeastern Michigan and beyond. Tickets for Amahl are available at www.warmemorial.org/arts or by calling 313.881.7511.

About Amahl and the Night Visitors 

Gian Carlo Menotti, a Pulitzer Prize winning Italian-American composer, lived from 1911 to 2007. He composed both the music and the libretto for Amahl and the Night Visitors, which was the first opera written especially for television. It was commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on December 24, 1951, in New York City at NBC studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, where it was broadcast live on television from that venue as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame.

About Michigan Opera Theatre

Michigan Opera Theatre, one of the nation’s most vibrant nonprofit arts organizations, is committed to presenting opera and dance of the highest artistic caliber. Founded in 1971 by Dr. David DiChiera, the company’s mission is to serve as a major cultural resource to the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. The organization is led by President and CEO Wayne S. Brown, Principal Conductor Stephen Lord, and Chairman of the Board Rick Williams. Visit the website at www.michiganopera.org.

About The War Memorial

The War Memorial, located on the shores of Lake Saint Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, is a legacy-filled institution with a reenergized determination to emerge as a regional driver of arts, learning, patriotism, hospitality and connectivity. Situated on the grounds of the historic Alger Estate, The War Memorial serves an estimated 250,000 individuals with over 3,000 functions annually, including programs to honor veterans, engagement experiences for adults and children, community events and celebrations, and premier hospitality services. With new programming and innovative leadership, The War Memorial is a unique, dynamic and forward-thinking hub for southeast Michigan with a mission to be a patriotic, cultural, and community leader.

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