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November 2008

Song for the season

It's heart-warming. It's tradition. It's opera.

Amahl and the Night Visitors

“Amahl and the Night Visitors” marks its 10th anniversary at UNCG with a performance in the newly-renovated Aycock Auditorium.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of UNCG's staging of “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Gian-Carlo Menotti's inspiring opera about a poor, disabled boy and his mother who are paid an unexpected visit by the Three Wise Men.

“‘Amahl’ is very emotional to me,” said David Holley, director of the UNCG Opera Theatre. “When I was 13, I played Amahl. Whenever I hear that chord where Amahl picks up his crutch and says, ‘Let me take my crutch to the Christ-child, he might need it,’ I start to cry.

“If you've ever been involved with ‘Amahl’ it just grabs your heart. It's a unique experience.”

Performances will take place on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 21-22, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. in Aycock Auditorium.

This year marks another powerful milestone for the opera — it will be staged in the newly-refurbished Aycock Auditorium.

“This will be the first opera performed in there since its re-opening,” Holley said. He is excited about the new orchestra pit which will allow all the instruments to be in one place, instead of a few off to the side of the stage.

The role of Amahl will be performed by local Greensboro boys, Eli Whitehouse and Clark Spillane. The role of the mother will be shared by Kate Farrar and Kate Jackson, with Charles Williamson, Lindell Carter, Ishan Johnson, Michael Thomas and Edward Clegg taking the stage as the Three Wise Men.

Holley is producing the show and will conduct the performances, while two graduate students are taking on pivotal roles: Candice Burrows (who sang the part of the Mother in 2006) is the stage director and Garrett Saake is preparing the shepherd's chorus.

Ticket prices are $15 adults, $11 seniors, $6 for children, $6 for non-UNCG students and $5 for UNCG students. For more information contact the School of Music box office at (336) 334-4849, or visit



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