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Amahl and the Night Visitors (1963)

Movie Summary

One night in Judea, a disabled shepherd boy-turned-beggar and his mother are visited by three strangers. They are the Three Kings, and they are on their way to Bethlehem to visit the Christ Child.

Amahl and the Night Visitors was originally commissioned by NBC and first performed by the NBC Opera Theatre on December 24, 1951, in New York City at NBC studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, where it was broadcast live on television as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It was the first opera specifically composed for television in America.

For years, Amahl was presented live, but in 1963 it was videotaped by NBC with conductor Herbert Grossman and an all-new cast featuring Kurt Yaghjian as Amahl, Martha King as The Mother, and John McCollum, Willis Patterson, and Richard Cross as the Three Kings. When Menotti found out that NBC had scheduled the taping on a date when he was out of the country, he tried to get the date changed. The network refused and recorded the 1963 performance without the composer’s presence or participation. This version was shown in 1964 and 1965; although a final live version with Kuhlmann and the rest of the original adult cast was also broadcast in 1964. Menotti never approved of the 1963 production, and in May 1966 when the rights to future broadcasts reverted to him, the composer refused to allow it to be shown again. Because of this, Amahl was not shown on television at all between 1966 and 1978.

Where can I watch Amahl and the Night Visitors online?

Amahl and the Night Visitors is not currently available to stream online.

Is Amahl and the Night Visitors available to buy on DVD?

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When will Amahl and the Night Visitors air on TV in 2024?

Not airing this week

Year Released


Cast Includes

Richard Cross (Melchoir), Martha King (Mother), John McCollum (Kaspar), Julian Patrick (The Page), Kurt Yaghjian (Amahl), Willis Patterson (Balthasar)

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Amahl and the Night Visitors Movie Trailer

2 thoughts on “Amahl and the Night Visitors (1963)

  • Hannah Wolf

    Any plans for it to be shown this year???

  • M Akehurst

    Please when was the original Amahl last on tV? and might it ever be on again?


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