Amahl and The Night Visitors come to Erie via PIP
A recount of a childhood in Italy during the holiday season and the fabled Three Kings story of Christian faith
Saturday, Jan. 4 - 5
Amahl and The Night Visitors will be performed by Erie's newest orchestra, Presque Isle Pro Musica (PIP).
The orchestra — originally the Erie Chamber Orchestra —adopted the alias when Gannon discontinued support of the organization nearly two years ago. In September, many of the old ensemble members — plus plenty of new talent — came together for their debut show.
Their latest is Amahl and The Night Visitors, a one-act opera written and performed on commission by NBC in 1951. Composed by Gian Carlo Menotti, it was specifically written for children. Of the opera, Menotti said: "This is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood. You see, when I was a child I lived in Italy, and in Italy, we have no Santa Claus. I suppose that Santa Claus was too busy with American children to be able to handle Italian children as well. Our gifts were brought to us by Three Kings instead."
Menotti's commentary from the original cast recording booklet continues: "I actually never met the Three Kings … But I do remember hearing them...the weird cadence of their song in the dark distance; I remember the brittle sound of the camel's hooves crushing the frozen snow; and I remember the mysterious tinkling of their silver bridles."
The opera is his musical recount of such memories as well as the story of the fabled Three Kings who brought gifts to newborn Jesus, according to stories in the Christian faith.
Though all of PIP's concerts are free to attend thanks to generous donations by community members, donations by attendees are appreciated. — Hannah McDonald
Saturday 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. // Luther Memorial Church, 225 W. 10th St. // Free // pipromusica.org/events