Story of a small boy named Amahl, who plays with the wind and is obeyed by the lions; about a boy with a star, who can change the world.
The one-act opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Gian Carlo Menotti was first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on December 24, 1951. Roles of the production at the Latvian National Opera will be performed by the LNO soloists and pupils of the Riga Cathedral Choir School.
Amahl is a boy who would herd sheep with everyone else if he wasn't lame. He lives with his mother. Amahl is a boy with a rich imagination, while his mother's only wealth is her worries and her son. Sometimes she thinks they are one and the same.
Three oriental scholars – Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar – are on a journey to find a child – a new ruler who will rule the world in love. They follow a new star in the sky. The night is dark and cold, so they ask Amahl's mother for shelter. While she frets about not being able to welcome the guests as well as they deserve, Amahl finds out that royal blood is no different from shepherd blood, that there is a magic stone that cures insomnia, that black licorice is delicious, that... one should not be so pesky, or so says his mom.
With the help of the other shepherds, a proper reception is arranged. While the guests relax, Amahl's mother asks a rhetorical question: can those who live in abundance truly appreciate what they have? Perhaps there are others who could use it more?
The scholars’ companion, having suddenly awakened early in the morning, loudly and insistently claims that Amahl’s mother has been trying to steal the gifts meant for the young ruler.
Amahl defends his mother, vowing to kick in the teeth and break the arm of anyone who dares to insult his mother – it’s no longer the poor lame Amahl who had to handouts at the beginning of the story. Or maybe this is the same Amahl – the one who follows his own truth and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. It is Amahl who, as it turns out, can walk. It is a gift from the miracle child to be able to stand on his own two feet.
Leaving his imaginary playmates to his mother’s care, Amahl joins Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar to present his own gift to the new ruler of the world. Because a story can also be a gift.