The Season of Miracles. This one-hour opera follows the three Magi as they rest from their travels in the hut of a poor widow and her crippled son. Back by popular demand, this holiday favorite is a universal tale of compassion, generosity, and the miracles that can occur when a boy takes a leap of faith. Composer Gian Carlo Menotti’s stunning music and inspiring story make this classic chamber opera a memorable event for the whole family.
Amahl and the Night Visitors is about a stop that the Three Kings make on their journey to seek an unknown, but wondrous, new-born child. They request lodging for the night in a shepherd’s hut of an impoverished widow and her crippled son, Amahl. As the mother’s cupboard is bare, villagers come with meager offerings of food for the Kings. A young couple entertains them with a dance. Amahl is intrigued by the luggage they are carrying, so the Kings show the little family the riches they plan to present the mysterious child. Finally, all settle to sleep around a modest fire. Because of her need to provide for her son and lured by the Kings’ gold, the mother is caught trying to steal it. She repents and the Kings forgive her. The pure-hearted Amahl offers his crutch as a gift to the child that the Kings seek. In this moment of selfless generosity the child is miraculously healed. As the Kings prepare to continue their journey, Amahl’s mother consents to let him accompany them as they seek the child. In a world of Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays, this is a work whose message can bond generations in the idea that miracles are wrought from the selfless acts of pure hearts.
Although known as a stage work and the most frequently-produced opera in the world today, Amahl and the Night Visitors was the first opera commissioned for television. It premiered on NBC Television’s 1951 Opera Theatre on Christmas eve as the first Hallmark Hall of Fame production. Gian Carlo Menotti wrote the words and music and staged the opera for its television premiere. He was assisted by composer Samuel Barber. The premiere was conducted by Thomas Schippers. An estimated audience of five million viewers saw that first live performance on television, which became an annual holiday tradition for many years, including new productions by NBC and versions by the BBC. With such creators at the helm, it is no wonder that this work has remained a staple of the popular repertoire since its premiere
Featuring: Karoline Barnett | Dana Kinney | Revere Taylor | Nathan Snyder | Anna Woiwood
Brian Clay Luedloff, Artistic Director | Glen Cortese, Conductor | The Fort Collins Symphony
Saturday December 21, 2013 - 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
The Griffin Concert Hall – University Center for the Arts
1400 Remington St.
Fort Collins, CO 80524
[map & directions]
The Lincoln Center
417 W. Magnolia St.
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Soprano Nathaniel Braswell (Amahl) 13, is excited to return to the Opera Fort Collins stage in his favorite role of Amahl. Previous roles include Ebby in Scrooge, the Musical, Kurt in Sound of Music, Fyvish in Fiddler on the Roof, Young Patrick in Mame, Frederic in Pirates of Penzance, Winthrop in The Music Man, Sid in Tom Sawyer, Dull in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Billy in Honk, Michael in Peter Pan, and a street urchin in Carmen. Nathaniel is a six-year member of Centennial Children’s Chorus and a Library Pal volunteer for the Poudre River Public Library District. When he is not on stage, Nathaniel enjoys competitive archery as well as speech and debate. He wishes to thank his voice teacher, Cynthia Vaughn, as well as Brian Luedloff and the OFC staff for giving him another opportunity to love Opera from the “inside out”.
Bass-baritone Antoine Hodge (King Balthazar) returns to Opera Fort Collins as King Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. Recent engagements include bass soloist in Liza Lehmann’s In A Persian Garden at the Broadway Music School, Loveland Opera Theatre’s Verdi gala, OFC’s Gift of the Magi, and ensemble work with Central City Opera. Past roless: Betto and Amantio di Nicolao in Gianni Schicchi, the Master of Ceremonies in Cendrillon, Mr. Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Mr. Gobineau in The Medium, Yundt in The Anarchists, Don Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro,and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. Concert stage works, include: Schubert’s Mass in G, Vaughan WIlliams’ Hodie and Serenade to Music, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and numerous performances of Handel’s Messiah. Upcoming engagements: bass soloist in Beethoven’s 9th with Colorado Springs Chamber Orchestra in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and The Doctor in Vanessa with Boulder Opera Company.
Mezzo-soprano Dana Kinney (Director) returns to OFC for a third season and as a first-year Master of Music student with Dr. Tiffany Blake at Colorado State University. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado, studying with Dr. Melissa Malde. Past roles include Mama McCourt (cover) in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Phoebe in Yeoman of the Guard, the title role in Carmen (cover), Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Zita (cover) in Giannni Schicci, and Lady Angela in CSU’s fall production of Patience. Ms. Kinney is an active stage director throughout the Rocky Mountain region. She has directed/assistant directed for Loveland Opera Theatre, the Opera-in-Education production of The Impresario, and Don Giovanni. She directed her own version of Don Giovanni in 2013 with a newly founded opera company, Rocky Mountain Chamber Opera. Ms. Kinney’s OFC assistant director credits include Carmen, Gift of the Magi, Barber of Seville, Daughter of the Regiment. She directs the OFC Season 34 production of Amahl & the Night Visitors.
Tenor Nathan Snyder (King Kaspar) is a native of Fruita, Colorado. He made his Opera Fort Collins debut as Sam and Father
Chappelle in The Ballad of Baby Doe. Currently, he studies with Dr. Derek Chester in the Master of Music program at the
University of Northern Colorado. Mr. Snyder received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from Bethel College.
Recent roles include Martin in The Tender Land, tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and chorus in the Wichita Symphony’s
productions of Carmina Burana and Beethoven’s Mass in C Minor.
Baritone Revere Taylor (King Melchior) is a second-year Master of Music student at University of Northern Colorado. He holds a Bachelor of Music from New Mexico State University and a Certificate of Higher Education from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He made his OFC debut as the Corporal during 2012 in Daughter of the Regiment. Mr. Taylor’s recent roles include Rambaldo in La Rondine, William Jennings Bryan in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Germont in La traviata, Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore, the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro, Falke in Die Fledermaus, Ben in The Telephone. In Scotland, he appeared in The Tales of Hoffmann and Scottish Opera’s production of Prokofiev’s The Love of Three Oranges. This past summer, he appeared as Abdallo in Nabucca and Il Messegero in Aida with Opera Classcia in Germany.
Soprano Anna Christine Woiwood (Mother) is a second-year Master of Music student at University of Northern Colorado.
She debuted with Opera Fort Collins during 2012 in Daughter of the Regiment. Recent performances include Magda in La Rondine,
chorus in The Ballad of Baby Doe, the third boy in Die Zauberflöte, Gertrud in Hansel and Gretel, Katisha in The Mikado, and Dorabella in
Cosi fan tutte. She was a featured soloist in Verdi’s Gloria and also received honorable mention in SEMO’s Concerto and Aria competition.
Recently, she won the Amelia Guthrie Promising Singer of Merit Award.
Glenn Cortese (Guest Conductor) is in his seventh season as music director of the Greeley Philharmonic and his ninth season as artistic director of the Western New York Chamber. He was named music director emeritus of the Oregon Mozart Players after serving as artistic director for nine seasons. Recent guest engagements include: the Wolftrap Opera, Charleston Symphony, Sapporo Festival Orchestra, Slovak Radio Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Mexico City Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Paducah Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony, Billings Symphony, Lyric Opera of Cleveland, and Annapolis Symphony. He appeared as guest conductor both in the United States and abroad with the symphonies of New Jersey, Florida Philharmonic, Austin, Mexico City Philharmonic, North Carolina, Colorado Springs, Bangor, Meridian, Queens, New Amsterdam, New Orleans Philharmonic, International Chamber Orchestra, Belarus State Philharmonic, Noorhollands Philharmonisch, Orquesta Sinfonica Carlos Chavez, San Francisco Conservatory, Cleveland Institute, and Altenburg Landeskappele Orchestra. In 1994, Mr. Cortese began his tenure as music director of the East--West International Symphony Orchestra in Altenburg, Germany. In 2011 he conducted the world premiere of John Musto’s new opera, The Inspector, at the Wolftrap Opera. Other guest conductor opera credits include: the Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Cleveland Lyric Opera, Maryland Opera Studio, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival Opera Theater, Manhattan School Opera Theater, and East West International Opera Theater. He has conducted at numerous summer festivals including Chautauqua, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, American Dance Festival, The New York Music Institute, Sewanee Music Festival and the Brevard Music Center. A strong advocate of new music, he has conducted over 150 premieres. Mr. Cortese is an accomplished composer and winner of numerous awards including: the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Joseph E. Bearns Prize