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Amahl and the Night Visitors

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Menotti took inspiration from Bosch's Adoration of the Magi for Amahl

Amahl and the Night Visitors is a one-act opera with words and music by Gian Carlo Menotti. Amahl was commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on December 24, 1951, in New York City at the NBC studios in Rockefeller Center. It was shown annually from 1951 until 1962 on NBC. It was the first opera written for television.

Menotti accepted the commission from NBC, but had trouble settling on a theme. He took inspiration for the opera from Hieronymus Bosch's The Adoration of the Magi hanging in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. It was Menotti's wish that Amahl should always be played by a boy, and not by a woman in boy's clothing.


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