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 SRU Music Students to Offer 'Amahl and the Night Visitors' at SRU, BC3 



Nov. 1, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine: 724-738-4854;



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” one of the best-loved holiday operas, will be performed twice in December by Slippery Rock University music students, on Dec. 3 at SRU and on Dec. 9 at Butler County Community College.

Tickets for either show are $12 for adults and $7 for children and all students. The SRU performance begins at 4 p.m. in Swope Recital Hall. Call 724-738-2645. The community college performance begins at 7 p.m. at Succop Theater. Call 724-284-8505. (Tickets are not interchangeable.)

SRU’s Dr. Colleen Gray Neubert assistant professor of music, will direct both performances, with SRU alumnus Mark Erickson, ’05 of New Wilmington as assistant director. SRU’s Kevin Smith, assistant professor of music, conducts the orchestra.

Gian Carlo Menotti’s famous opera tells the story of a single mother and her young, crippled son whose lives are changed forever when the three kings knock at their door. When Amahl's mother realizes the three kings are looking for a newborn and their expensive gifts are all destined for him, she becomes envious. She cannot understand why at least some of these gifts could not be given to her own child.

As they sleep, Amahl's mother tries to steal from her guests, seeking money to alleviate their poverty. When the kings take leave, Amahl offers them his crutch as a present for the Holy Child, the object of their journey.

 Menotti’s sense of humor sparkles in his depiction of the deaf and unusual king Kaspar, who sings the famous comic aria, “This is My Box.”

SRU takes the performance to Butler County Community College to make it easier for residents of the central and southern sections of Butler County to see the opera.

            The cast includes the following SRU music performance and music education majors: Amahl, played by soprano Jessica Brown of Ridgeway;

Mother, soprano Ashleigh Weimer of Connellsville;

The Three Kings; Kaspar, tenor Michael Desnoyers of Alleghany, N.Y.;

Melchior, baritone Nicholas Kochanov of North Huntingdon;

Balthazar, bass-baritone Stephen Ball of Butler;

Page, baritone Ryan Griffin of Pittsburgh;

The Dancers, Michael Zeiler of Natrona Heights;

Lisa Cifrulak of Jefferson Hills;

Christiana Howell of Erie; The SRU Chamber Singers play the shepherds and shepherdesses.


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