AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS
by Gian Carlo Menotti
While this phenomenal holiday classic was commissioned by NBC television in 1951 for a Christmas Eve performance with real actors, anyone who has seen the New England Marionette Opera production will declare that somewhere in the back of Maestro Menotti's mind he knew this piece would eventually be performed by marionettes.
The Marionette Opera's Amahl production has become New England's newest holiday tradition as two dozen marionettes bring the touching story of a lame shepherd boy to life. The audience highlight of every performance is the intricate shepherd's dance performed by the marionettes.
A rising star (no pun intended) in the marionette production is a camel who joined the production in 1994. Curious and inquisitive, he is as interested in the story unfolding before him as is the audience.
Most performances of Amahl and the Night Visitors are followed by an appearance of the dozen or so marionette manipulators in the lobby following the show. Young and old alike have a limitless list of questions for the manipulators.