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By GALEN HAWES              

ADA – This holiday season, East Central University unwraps the classic Nativity story, with an Italian twist.

ECU’s Department of Performing Arts presents “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, December 5-6, at the Dorothy I. Summers Theatre inside Science Hall. An additional, off-campus performance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday, December 15, at the Pauls Valley United Methodist Church.

Written by Gian Carlo Menotti, the opera is based on Italian folk tales of the Nativity and Epiphany and retells the story of the Magi from the point of view of a young crippled boy named Amahl who, with his mother, lives in poverty somewhere near Bethlehem. Amahl sees a bright star in the sky one night and tells his mother to go look, but she brushes him off. That night, three kings come across their hut and seek shelter. They bring with them treasure and gifts for “the Child” who has just been born and who will reign over all.

ECU student performers include Zana Johnson of Kinta; Jessica Drury of Heavener; Charis Havens of Wynnewood; Chris Coulter of Tishomingo; Ivan Huerta of Lexington; Malik Sharp of Shawnee; Caleb Deering of Ada; Isaac Kilpatrick of Plano, Texas; and Adie Marshall of Ada. Also contributing are Melody Baggech and Rudy Lupinski, members of ECU’s music faculty.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors” is a family-friendly opera and a nice way to start the Advent season. ECU admission costs are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $6 for children under 12.

While the performance in Pauls Valley is free to the public, donations are gratefully accepted and will benefit ECU’s Department of Performing Arts.


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