TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Opera Theatre is again bringing the moral and magical Christmas tale of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” to life in one performance only at Bryant-Jordan Hall Dec. 16 at 3 p.m.
The opera is free and open to the public.
“Why do we keep on doing this every year?” asked Dr. Paul Houghtaling, associate professor of voice and director of the UA Opera Theatre. “Because its message of love and light are far more important than anything material. If you have that in your life you’re already rich.
“With such negative energy out there right now, this sends a sweet message. This little boy, Amahl, who has to walk with a crutch, sees the good in people and communicates that.”
Houghtaling said the opera is a family-oriented production about a disabled boy’s interaction with three traveling kings, the Biblical Magi, and how his loving mother with a heart of gold tries to teach him vital life lessons.
Through the tale, materialism is set aside and the true spirit of Christmas is captured in song and theater.
“Material things don’t matter as much as love and wisdom,” Houghtaling said.
New costumes were created for the opera last year by Master of Fine Arts costume design student Andrew Haueter, of St. George Utah, and this year another student, MFA candidate Therrin Eber, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, designed new set pieces for the opera. MFA directing student Elizabeth Kirkland, of Dallas, is the stage director.
“We continue to produce this charming opera free of charge as an offering to the community because of its message of hope, love, acceptance and inclusion, which become more and more relative each passing year,” Houghtaling said.
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.