Saturday, December 24, 2011
Have You Seen A Child The Color Of Wheat...The Color Of Dawn?
"Amahl and the Night Visitors" has already been featured here in Tulgey Wood but Christmas calls out for another look at this wondrous TV special. In December 1953, one year after the opera (the first ever to be commissioned especially for television) was presented as the first installment of the Hallmark Hall of Fame, Life magazine ran this spectacular full-color spread. Posted here at the right is a unique glimpse (in color yet) of the original production. Since its first live telecast on Christmas Eve 1951, Amahl had been re-presented on NBC once again, broadcast live with the original cast on Easter Sunday (April 13) 1952. That same month Rosemary Kuhlmann (Amahl's mother) and Chet Allen (Amahl; the boy soprano was proclaimed a star on the historic page-one New York Times review of the original broadcast) reprised their roles in a New York City Opera production, conducted by Thomas Schippers and sets by Eugene Berman (both from the first telecast); it was this stage production of which Life took the photographs for the article reproduced at the right. Enjoy these historical and very rare photos (click on the images for a larger view) of Gian Carlo Menotti's TV opera as a Christmas Eve treat.