The yearly live telecasts of Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl And The Night Visitors were a cherished Christmas tradition throughout the 1950s. Since its premiere in 1951, Amahl has been performed regularly by community groups and small opera companies throughout the U.S., making it the single most popular American opera. This production, staged by the composer himself and originally telecast on Christmas Day, 1955, is a testament to the work's enduring power to move the heart and stir the soul.
Starring Rosemary Kuhlmann as Mother and Bill McIver as Amahl, this is the story of the Three Kings visiting the cottage of a poverty-stricken shepherd's widow and her crippled son. Members of the Symphony of the Air are under the direction of Thomas Schippers. Also on the DVD, from the same broadcast, is The Columbus Boychoir performing Christmas carols. The DVD also includes an exclusive 2007 interview with Rosemary Kuhlmann. (black & white/mono, 46 minutes, plus 30 minutes bonus features)