UA Opera Theatre Presents ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’

The University of Alabama’s Opera Theatre is presenting its third annual performance of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. at Bryant-Jordan Hall.

The 50-minute opera is free and open to the public.

“It is a one-act chamber opera for families and children of all ages, and it’s about the Christ child and the three kings traveling through the wilderness,” said Dr. Paul Houghtaling, associate professor of voice and director of the UA Opera Theatre.

“They encounter this poor mother and her crippled child, Amahl, who represents humanity. It’s a very beautiful story of faith. The three kings search for the Star of Bethlehem and follow the star. In their journey, they impart everything that is important about Christianity. It is also witty and charming and full of radiance.”

The performance, which is sponsored in part by the James I. Harrison Family Foundation, was first written for television and was telecast on NBC in 1955. Houghtaling said it is the first televised opera and has become a holiday favorite across the country.

The production is completely student driven, giving graduate students the opportunity to direct while Houghtaling supervises.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity and a win-win for students in the opera program and for the community.” Dr. Paul Houghtaling, associate professor of voice and director of UA Opera Theatre

The opera includes 13 student performers and seven designers and staff members. They spent two weeks preparing for the show, but production and design details started well in advance.

Andrew Haueter, a 24-year-old graduate student studying costume design and technology, said designing the costumes for “Amahl and the Night Visitors” was a special experience.

“Designing for an opera is always a different experience from theatre,” he said. “You have the opportunity to go over the top with designs. I had the opportunity to assistant design for the production last year, so making the production my own has been a wonderful experience.”

“The three kings are definitely my favorite characters to design. The extravagant fabrics and details that can be used for these characters make the project a joy.”

For more information, visit UA Events.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.