'Amahl' returns to Augustana


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Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2012, 9:19 am
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com
For the first time since 2008, theAugustana College Department of Music will begin its annual Celebration of Christmaswith Opera @ Augustana's production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors," the 1951 Christmas opera by Gian CarloMenotti.

One other short opera also will be performed. The performances will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, inWallenberg Hall (inside the Denkmann Memorial Building), 3520 7th Ave., Rock Island. Tickets are $12 for the general public; $10 for seniorcitizens, non-Augustana students; and $8 for children and Augustana students/faculty/staff.

"Amahl" tells the story of how a disadvantaged shepherd boy's life changes foreverwhen he sees an amazing star "as big as a window." When three foreign kings following the star in their searchfor a wondrous child encounter Amahl and his mother, the result is a timeless and inspiring message of how faith,charity, unselfish love and good deeds can work miracles.

Rowan Crow, 16, who portrays Amahl, said: "I think this show is interesting because it gives the audiencea new perspective on Christmas; we never really hear much about the three wise men. I think the show is aperfect mix of light comedy and deep religious significance. Listening to the music takes me back to when I was alittle girl, excitedly awaiting Christmas morning, and in awe of the birth of Jesus.

"Except instead of Santa Claus,Amahl is visited by the three wise men, which, I now think, would be much more exciting," she said.

The internationally renowned singer, dancer and director Lemuel Wade '89 is back on campus to direct theproduction. "It's great to come back to Augustana and see some of my professors who are still here, and to workwith the students," he said.

After graduating from Augustana, Mr. Wade earned a master's degree in vocal performance from the BostonConservatory where he has toured the U.S.and Europe in musical productions such as "Hair," "Guys and Dolls" and "Jesus Christ Superstar." Mr. Wade spent much of this year directingGershwin's "Porgy and Bess," first in Naples, Italy,and then at the Cincinnati Opera.



















 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 15, the 258th day of 2014. There are 107 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: The Rock River Illinois conference of the Methodist Church will hold its annual sessions this week in this city. About 200 ministers are expected to attend.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Brush electric company had prepared a new schedule of rates to become effective Oct. 1, with slightly increased rates to consumers.
1914 — 100 years ago: The Rock Island Aerie of Eagles made plans for the laying of the cornerstone of a new $50,000 Eagles Home. W.C. Maucker is to be master of ceremonies.
1939 — 75 years ago: Col. Charles A. Lindbergh spoke on "America and Foreign War" in a neutrality debate over nation wide radio hook-up.
1964 — 50 years ago: Two awards of the National Safety council were presented to the city of Rock Island today at noon at a meeting held in the YWCA.
1989 — 25 years ago: The final tallies are not yet in for the summer 1989 Quad-Cities tourism season, but officials are expecting the number of visitors to the area to be at least as good as, if not better than, 1988.






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