Night and Day: Wednesday, December 5, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Three Kings Sing

The 1950s were the days of high modernism, and classical musicians revolted against the excesses of the 19th century as much as any other type of artist. Atonalism and Arnold Schoenberg were all the rage in the mid-20th century, and any new music that dared evoke the bad old days was roundly disparaged. The operas of American composer Gian Carlo Menotti were fearlessly based on old-fashioned dramatic models that Verdi would have approved of. Though his music was in the dissonant modernist idiom, it never gave offense or broke new ground. This helped make his operas extremely popular, but it also, in the words of music critic Jim Svejda, “made Menotti-bashing America’s favorite indoor sport.”

Nowadays, it’s Menotti’s relentlessly heart-tugging drama that’s likely to grate on you rather than his music, which is both charming and highly accomplished throughout his grown-up operas like The Medium and operas for kids like Help, Help, the Globolinks!, which we mention because we like the title. Amahl and the Night Visitors debuted on NBC in 1951 (remember the days when major tv networks would commission operas?), and Menotti’s story about a crippled boy who gets a visit from the Three Wise Men on their way to see the baby Jesus hasn’t lost its appeal after half a century. Fort Worth Opera and TCU School of Music get together to put on this Christmas story on Sunday.

Amahl and the Night Visitors plays 2:30pm & 7:30pm Sun at University Christian Church, 2720 S University Dr, FW. Tickets are $5-10. Call 817-731-0726.


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