UAB Opera presents “Amahl and the Night Visitors” Nov. 17-18

More than 35 music students and guest performers will tell the story of shepherd boy Amahl, who sees an enormous star and is met with regal visitors bearing gifts. The production features a full set, orchestra, costumes and more.

amahl 2016Left to right: Jeremy Richardson as the page; Caleb Flores as Amahl; Ben Lundy as King Kaspar; Beau Boudreaux as King Melchior (standing behind); and Maurice Nix as King Balthazar.“Amahl and the Night Visitors,” a universally appealing holiday story with glorious music, will be performed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s national award-winning Opera program Thursday, Nov. 17, and Friday, Nov. 18.

Presented by the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Music, the production is directed by Associate Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, DMA. It was written by Italian composer and dramatist Gian Carlo Menotti, with whom Hurst-Wajszczuk worked during her years in the Spoleto festivals.

UAB Opera will present “Amahl and the Night Visitors” each night at 7:30 p.m. in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, Sirote Theatre. Tickets are $10, $15 and $20, with $5 tickets available for any college student with an ID or anyone under 18. Advance purchase tickets are $10 each for groups of eight or more. Call 205-975-2787 for tickets. Call 205-934-7376 or visit

The opera is the story of a crippled shepherd boy who tells his mother he has seen an enormous star with a long tail. His mother believes he is lying and grows angry; but a knock at the door reveals three kings who have come with gifts, seeking a newborn child. 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. 

“We have offered the production three times in the nine years I have been at UAB, and this is the first time we have staged it with an orchestra,” Hurst-Wajszczuk said. “I am grateful for the collaboration of the UAB Chamber Singers, and delighted to again use the beautiful costumes designed by UAB Theatre Associate Professor Kimberly Schnormeier.”

The production also features a full set designed by Theatre Production Manager and Technical Director Ed Zuckerman.

The cast is Carter Burton of Avondale and Caleb Flores of Homewood, fifth-graders who will portray Amahl on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, respectively; UAB students Kristin Deneen of Nashville, Tennessee and Ashley Black Cannova of Birmingham, who will portray Amahl’s mother on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, respectively; Corey Griffin of Pinson and Ben Lundy of Fairhope, who will portray King Kaspar on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, respectively; Beau Boudreaux of Birmingham as King Melchior; Maurice Nix of Birmingham as King Balthazar; and Joel Burks of Cullman and Jeremy Richardson of Mobile as the king’s page. Dancers are Shaina Hamby of Birmingham and Lauren Raffaela Moore of Birmingham. Daniel Bussey is choreographer.

The Chorus of Shepherds is Jeffrey Alexander of Vestavia Hills; Jonathan Anders of Birmingham; Jeannie Bubbett and Mallory Bubbett of Helena; Marshall Burton of Avondale; Simone Cedotal of Huntsville; Robbie Crowder of Bastrop, Louisiana; Grace Ann Flores of Homewood; Michael Giddens of Alabaster; Briana Auhin of Tomball, Texas; Alexis Good of Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina; Javan Jackson of Hoover; Josie Jackson of Springville; Taylor Harrison of Springville; Anna Jones of Memphis; Julian Jones of Birmingham; Lydia Knight of Dora; Amelia Maxwell of Birmingham; Sandy Missildine of Birmingham; Makayla Phillips of Birmingham; Tourè Pruitt of Tuscaloosa; Siobhan Russell of Cullman; Richard Taylor of Helena; and Allison Worrell of Tallassee.

Timothy Paul Banks will conduct the orchestra. UAB Assistant Professor Brian Kittredge is the chorus master. Laura Kilgore is stage manager, with assistance from Gregory Danielson. 

  • November 17