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The Ensemble Singers return

Music is one of the miracles of the Christmas season it turns the bustle of everyday life into a prayer for peace on Earth and goodwill to men.

A highlight of the Christmas season in Bermuda is the annual concert of The Ensemble Singers, a choral ensemble of some of Bermuda’s best classical singers. This year The Ensemble Singers, accompanied by Charles Callahan on the organ, will present Gian Carlo Menotti’s ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’.

The production is under the direction of Gary Burgess, with Lloyd Matthew as chorus director, at Wesley Methodist Church this weekend. The title role of Amahl will be sung on alternate nights by Terrell Crawford and Issachar Scroggins, 12-year-old students studying with the News Boys Choir School in the United States. Gordon Campbell will play King Melchoir.

Guests soloists include tenor David MacAdam as King Kaspar and bass Gregory Sheppard as King Blathazar. Guest soprano Cecilia Myers, who has collaborated with the Ensemble Singers in the past, will take on the role of Mother.

The role of the Dancing Shepherds will be performed by the Berkeley Institute students Zakiya Furbert, Dara Palmer and Sierra Spencer. They will perform under the dance instruction and choreography of Nikia Manders.

One of the most popular American operas since its 1951 debut, ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ tells the Christmas story in a tangential way, from the point of view of a young crippled boy, Amahl, who has a penchant for telling tall tales, and his widowed mother. They are visited by the three Magi on their way to pay homage to the new King whose birth is emblazoned across the sky by a comet.

The Maji show the rich gifts they have brought for the newborn king, tempting to a poor mother with a child to care for. While Amahl’s mother is out gathering wood for the fire, Amahl asks them questions about their lives.

The mother returns with her neighbours, and the villagers present their gifts to the three kings. Amahl’s mother gives in to the temptation the costly gifts offer, and is caught attempting to steal the gold.

In the end Amahl is given a gift of his own before the wise men continue on their journey to honour the Christ child. Accessible to children as well as a delight to adults, the performance of ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ is an enjoyable way to introduce opera to youngsters.

The show will run on Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 4pm. Tickets, $30, are available at The Music Box on Reid Street, from members of The Ensemble Singers and at the door before the performance.

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Published November 29, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 29, 2011 at 7:58 am)

The Ensemble Singers return

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