Holiday opera in store at St. Catherine of Siena

One of the most beloved Christmas stories is coming to St. Catherine of Siena Church with a new production of Amahl and the Night Visitors.

The very first production of this famous tale was on Christmas Eve approximately 60 years ago after being commissioned specifically for television. Since then, Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera has played to audiences around the world making it one of the most poignant and memorable Christmas classics to-date. Now Greenwich audiences can experience a live performance of the show at the church located at 4 Riverside Avenue, on tomorrow Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.

The story is one of love and kindness told from the perspective of a poor disabled boy’s encounter one night with three wise and mysterious men. The production is directed by Mark Kaczmarczyk, music director at St. Catherine’s Parish with Abby Powell as the mother, PJ Doran as Amahl and the Festival Chorus, with orchestra.

Mr. Menotti, born in Northern Italy in 1911, lived with the experience of being lame until he said he was miraculously cured following a pilgrimage to a nearby sanctuary of Sacro Monte. His personal experience was the genesis of Amahl and the Night Visitor and Mr. Menotti went on to compose more than 20 operas, earn a Pulitzer Prize and found The Festival of Two Worlds.

“My love for this opera was immediate, from the moment I first experienced it,” said Mr. Kaczmarczyk, who has produced many musical productions not only at St. Catherine’s but across the country including such works as Handel’s Semele, Acis and Galatea at the Detroit Institute of the Arts and Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera for Ithaca College.

Amahl and the Night Visitor will be staged inside St. Catherine’s Church transforming it from a modern day worship space into a setting evocative of 2,000 years ago with authentic costuming and set pieces under the discerning eye of Patricia Moran, longtime costume designer of St. Catherine’s Players and wedding dress designer of former Greenwich bridal shop Razook’s.

“Amahl is just one in a series of major musical productions that St. Catherine’s stages throughout the year,” commented Monsignor Alan Detscher. “We are blessed to have someone of Mark’s musical caliber on our staff to broaden both the musical horizons of our parishioners at St. Catherine’s, but also for the greater Greenwich community at large.”

Tickets may be ordered by phone at 203-637-3661 or purchased in person at the St. Catherine of Siena Church rectory, located adjacent to the church at 4 Riverside Avenue near the corner of East Putnam Avenue. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students.

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