Amahl and the Night Visitors has been a beloved holiday classic since its first spectacular performance on television in 1951. Menotti, inspired by a Hieronymous Bosch painting, drew on a favorite tale from his childhood in Italy about the Magi traveling to greet the new King, baby Jesus.

Remembering this beloved childhood tale, Menotti was inspired to create an immediate classic and one that so beautifully captures the glory of Christmastime. The holiday season is a time we gather as families and friends to celebrate generosity, love, and kindness. Menotti’s opera encompasses these feelings through the example of Amahl – reminding us of the power of children to show the best of humanity.

Though creating opera is extremely complicated in the time of COVID-19, the restrictions led Lyric Opera of Kansas City to a fantastic solution – the puppetry of Paul Mesner. Using the power of puppetry to tell this classic tale of generosity and the miracles that come from giving, the music of Menotti will transport us once more. The year 2020 has tested humanity on an epic scale; according to the USDA, 41 million Americans, 13 million of which are children, face hunger now. May little Amahl’s offered sacrifice remind us all of the joy of giving and that miracles are still possible.


Shawna Lucey, Amahl and the Night Visitors, director

Amahl and the Night Visitors digital stream available to purchase here.

Production photos by Don Ipock