For those of you who would like to know more about our one-act opera for the fall, following is the synopsis of AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS. The show is about 50 minutes long and is the most frequently performed English opera in the world. The first opera commissioned for television broadcast, it was the first network television Christmas special to become an annual tradition.
Amahl, a shepherd who has difficulty walking, tries to tell his mother about what he has seen outside; an enormous star with a long tail. His mother, used to his habitual lying, grows angry; she is even angrier when Amahl tells he that three kings have come to visit them. To his mother's great surprise, Amahl is telling the truth. The kings enter and tell the two peasants that they have come to find a king, and they show the rich gifts they have brought him. While Amahl's mother is out gathering wood for the fire, Amahl asks the kings questions about their lives. The mother returns with her neighbors, and the villagers present their gifts to the visitors. That night, Amahl's mother tries to steal some of the kings' gold to use to help her child; she is caught, and when the kings offer to let her keep the gold, explaining that the king they seek will need nothing but love to rule his kingdom, she returns it. Amahl offers his crutch as an additional gift, and suddenly finds that he can walk. He leaves with the kings to pay homage to the child who has healed him.
The following links are from the 1978 TV version of the opera, with Teresa Stratas as the Mother. For Kaspar's aria, "This is my box," visit this link. The aria begins 2:10 into the clip. The Mother's aria, "All that gold," is at the very beginning of this link. Melchior's aria is 3:55 into the same clip.