Immaculate Conception Church of Our Lady of the Angels Parish
540 Chestnut Avenu
TRENTON, NJ 08650
Gian Carlo Menotti’s beloved 1951 work is considered to be the first opera composed for television. It’s not as if Menotti sat down and said, “I think I’ll invent a new genre today.”
Yet with the composition of Amahl and the Night Visitors, that is essentially what he did. Although he himself might not have seen it as a huge milestone initially, the 45-minute telecast established a tradition of “television opera” that has continued, in one form or another, to the present day. Television opera requires small casts, expressive acting, a clearly articulated story, and relatively simple melodic design – bridging the gap between the mass audience and the opera house.
On Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm, Boheme Opera NJ returns to its early roots in Chambersburg, Trenton, NJ as it presents a beautiful rendition of Gian Carlo Menotti’s poignant tale of the poor young disabled boy Amahl. He and his mother struggle to exist, and when three appointed kings – the Magi – stop at their house, their lives are about to change.
The production will feature a talented young cast, accompanied by the Boheme Opera NJ Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. It will be staged and conducted by Boheme Opera NJ Artistic Director and Conductor Joseph Pucciatti on the altar of one of Trenton’s largest churches, Immaculate Conception Church of Our Lady of the Angels Parish, 540 Chestnut Avenue.
It will be the first return of opera to the City of Trenton since 2010.
Starring as Amahl will be young soprano Janki Namboodiripad. A student in the Pennsbury School District, Janki has appeared on stage in Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Aladdin, among others, and has sung with Princeton Girl Choir, Pennsbury Honors Choir and Only Girls Aloud Choral Festival. Singing the role of the Mother is mezzo-soprano Amber Nicole Johnson. A graduate of both Illinois Wesleyan University (Bachelor of Music) and Temple University (Masters of Music), she has sung roles in Elektra, Susannah, Suor Angelica and La Rondine, and with Boheme Opera’s chorus ensemble for the past two seasons.
King Balthazar will be sung by bass Martin Hargrove a busy artist on the stages of Minnesota Opera, Pamiro Opera, Florida Grand Opera, American Opera Projects, and Braunschweig Staatsoper, among others. An active musical theater performer, he has sung Colline in La Boheme and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Boheme Opera NJ. King Melchior will be sung by bass-baritone Kevin Durkin, who has appeared in major roles with Delaware Valley Opera Co., Wilmington Concert Opera, Opera Fresca and Greater Philadelphia Opera Co. The comical King Kaspar will be sung by tenor Mathew Tartza, who recently
portrayed Monostatos in The Magic Flute and Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd. In January
2019, he performed with The Eurasia Festival Russian Opera and Art Song Institute. Singing the role of The Page is baritone Josef Samargia, a graduate of Florida Southern College (BM in 2017) and Temple University (MM in 2019). He has sung several supporting roles, now making his debut with Boheme Opera NJ.
Following the one-act Menotti opera will be a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria.
Vivaldi composed his Gloria in Venice, probably in 1715, for the choir of the Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage for girls which prided itself on the quality of its music education and the excellence of its choir and orchestra. The wonderfully sunny nature of the Gloria, with its distinctive melodies and rhythms, is characteristic of all of Vivaldi’s music, giving it an immediate and universal appeal. Featured in this performance will be the Boheme Opera NJ
Chamber Orchestra accompanying members and soloists from the Boheme Opera NJ Chorus.
General admission for this special holiday event is $25. Students through age 15 attend free.
Online tickets are available at: amahl-trenton.brownpapertickets.com and will be sold at the door one hour before performance.
Support for Boheme Opera NJ programs is made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Mark David and Anne Kupferberg Pepper Family Foundation, Dorothea Van Dyke McLane Association, Roma Bank Community Foundation, Investors Bank Community Foundation, corporations, businesses, individuals and collaborative contributions.