Menotti - Amahl and the Night Visitors (Alastair Willis/ Chicago Symphony Chorus/ Chicago Symphony Chorus/ Ike Hawkersmith) (Naxos: 8.669019)
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Menotti's 'Amahl and the Night Visitors', the first opera written for television, enjoys more than five hundred performances annually around the world and is immensely popular with amateur groups.
A crippled boy, Amahl, and his mother are visited by the three Kings who seek the newborn Jesus. Deciding to give his crutch to the Christ child, he is miraculously healed, and joyfully accompanies the Kings to give thanks. Sung in English, brimming with tuneful melodies for both soloists and chorus, the opera is a humorous and poignant Christmas classic beloved by people of all ages.
Amahl and the Night Visitors is a perennial Christmas classic that has little competition on CD. There is no recorded competition for My Christmas.
\Only one of Menotti's operas can truly be said to have achieved lasting popularity: "Amahl and the Night Visitors," a brief, modest work created for NBC television and first performed in a live broadcast on Christmas Eve in 1951.... The work's appeal is obvious. Menotti's music is attractive and unfailingly lyrical." "