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Performances of Gian Carlo Menotti holiday classic will feature student cast and orchestra : WCSU Opera to present ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ Dec. 8 and 9

Image of a scene from a previous staging of 'Amahl & the Night Visitors' at WCSU.
A scene from a previous staging of ‘Amahl & the Night Visitors’ at WCSU.

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Opera will present its 23rd annual production of the holiday classic “Amahl and the Night Visitors” in two performances on Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. 

Performances at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 9 will feature Western students in the principal adult roles. Both performances will be in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

General admission is $12, with a ticket price of $8 for senior citizens and children under 12. Advance reservations may be made online at or by calling (203) 837-TIXX. Tickets also will be sold at the door.

The English-language opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti, originally commissioned for broadcast on the NBC television network in December 1951, has become a popular holiday tradition in the Danbury area for more than two decades. The opera, which runs approximately 50 minutes, tells the story of an impoverished and crippled shepherd boy’s encounter with the Three Kings on their way to Bethlehem and the heart-warming outcome of their chance meeting. In notes describing his composition of the opera, Menotti explained he was inspired by his fond memories of the Three Kings as the legendary source of Christmas gifts during his childhood in Italy.

The director and producer of the WCSU Opera production is Professor of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup. Associate Professor of Music Dr. Luis Fernando Jimenez will conduct the student orchestra. Delecia Woods, of Waterbury, is the choreographer and principal dancer. Other production staff members include Nicole Salamon, of Cos Cob, as assistant stage director, and Alex Dima, of Trumbull, as stage manager. Andrew Gordon is the rehearsal pianist and opera coach.

The cast for the Dec. 8 performance will feature Mason Harper, of Woodbury, as Amahl; Leanna O’Brien, of Barkhamsted, as Amahl’s mother; Edwin Rodriguez, of West Haven, as Kaspar; Samuel Cournoyer, of Seymour, as Melchior; Daniel Satter, of Trumbull, as Balthazar; and Adam Giard, of Ellington, as the Page. The cast for the Dec. 9 matinee will feature Erin Wilcox, of Middletown, New York, as Amahl; Taylor Doyle, of Southbury, as Amahl’s mother; Sergio Mandujano, of Norwalk, as Kaspar; Matthew Sacco, of Orange, as Melchior; Tyler Goff, of Ridgefield, as Balthazar; and Kaylin Spaulding, of Waterbury, as the Page.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.