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Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors (1955)

Menotti , Kuhlmann  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors + Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors + Amahl and the Night Visitors: Vocal Score (Vocal Score Series)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Menotti, Kuhlmann, McIver, Schippers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Classical, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Video Artists Int'l
  • DVD Release Date: October 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VZAV5I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,473 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Rosemary Kuhlmann and Bill McIver star in this Menotti opera conducted by Thomas Schippers, broadcast December 25, 2005.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
131 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential Version of "Amahl" October 28, 2007
This is the quintessential version of this gorgeous, infinitely enduring story of the Three Kings visiting the cottage of a poverty-stricken shepherd's widow and her crippled son. Menotti's music here is amazing, the characterizations and voices are marvelous. I have listened to this opera for 45 years, at least annually, and never fail to be moved to tears. No one should miss this lovely thing. This version was the very first, telecast live on December 24, 1951. I researched and revised my original statement regarding the telecast date based on a comment by Scott in L.A. Thanks for the correction!
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Original Is Finally Released December 12, 2007
By bbuono
I cannot confirm whether this is the 1954 version or later (it lists it as 1955 telecast). The original (1951)had Chet Allen as Amahl. This version has Bill McIver. I watched the Hallmark Hall of Fame each year as they showed this wonderful performance. I have been looking for a release of this version for years. This is close enough to the "original" to be collected. The sound and video quality are very good, especially considering what the telecast was like. I have no complaints. The story should be well known from the summary, later versions and the reviews. 50 years have not diminished the greatness and enjoyment of this classic.
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Memories! January 31, 2008
Verified Purchase
I ordered a copy of the 1955 prformance of Amahl and the Night Visitors for many reasons which I think valid, and for some personal reasons.
As mentioned in other reviews, this performance offers no glitzy color or modern day technical perfection to which we have become accustomed. However, we should not always seek such shallowness when
we wish to purchase musical performances. What this performance does have is a dramatically staged version by the composer, a hand-chosen conductor, by the composer, a soprano who, by all accounts was the composer's ideal, a fine trio of Kings, an emsemble which is one of the
tightest I have ever heard and an Amahl who combines vulnerability, sweetness and strength in every way possible. I saw many peformances of this as a child and surely gained much from what it teaches as well as the sublime musical and dramatic moments. I was lucky to have been the college roommate of Bill McIver as we experienced early musical life together. Hearing about his role as he child comprised one of the best periods of my life. I see the man in this child in many ways. I own a number of recordings. This one is all I really need. Recommended highly!!!

David Evans, Kill Devil Hills, NC
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Menotti - Amahl and the Night Visitors December 24, 2008
I have been looking for this title on DVD for many years. This was a favorite of mine from my early youth. This is not to say that I am a fan of Opera or that I believe that Jesus was born on December 25th. As I expected, this appears to be a simple, VHS to DVD transfer. The original video recording was apparently captured and canned as-is, that is to say, no studio overdubbing. Therefore, the lyrics are often hard to understand. Just the same, I am overjoyed to own this rare seasonal production. If you liked this title as a child, nothing is different (except maybe your own hearing). You should still like it today.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful experience January 18, 2008
Verified Purchase
I was a little worried when I ordered this Amahl because of its early television production quality, but I am very, very happy with it. I was involved with two different productions of this Operetta, one in high school and one in my church. I love the music very much, and the voices on this video are very good. If you ever owned the 60s RCA recording of the Hallmark Hall of Fame production, you'll remember a terrible electronic glitch apparently in the master recording during one of the soprano's best moments ("... but no one brings him incense or gold . . . though sick and tired and hungry and cold") that ruined the experience for me each time I listened to it. But there's nothing like that in this recording. If you love this work, you'll want to buy this DVD. I suspect some of the folks critical of it weren't around in the 40s/50s and perhaps think that the quality of telvision images broadcast then were better than they actually were. I doubt any amount of technical restoration would help with the picture quality which is, in my opinion, quite good anyway. It's mostly about the singing after all. The extras on the DVD are good too. I especially enjoyed the boy's choir. Listening to them depresses me in the sense that their singing is tecnically so superior to anything I've heard recently. Probably the Diocese that trained and supported them has sunken to guitar music these days.

Just thinking about the music makes me break into: "Emily, Emily, Michael Bartholomew,how are your children and how are your sheep?" Wonderful.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most exemplery performance January 23, 2008
By J. Vogt
I agree that the DVD is somewhat dark.....but if you were one who saw this opera in 1952 (when I was 5 yrs old), which I did, under the close direction of Menotti himself, you will realize that this is the most exemplery rendering of the opera, unforgettable for the time, and never equalled in subsequent editions. No actress has ever equalled Rosemary Kuhlman's performance as the mother.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amahl February 12, 2009
By Va
Verified Purchase
Amahl and the Night Visitors was a favorite of mine at Christmas when I was a child. I had ordered it on VHS a while back, but the sound quality was not good at all. This DVD is so much better. The picture is still not real good but that's understandable, it was filmed in the 50's. However, they have been able to do whatever to the sound to greatly improve it over the VHS version. It's a sweet timeless story and one I hope to share with my grandchildren someday.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Music is wonderful. However, the video is a bit dark. I sang with Bob McGiver's father. Very lovely family
Published 16 days ago by Robert Breitenbach
5.0 out of 5 stars I am grateful to have found this very nice rendition.
Rare, rare gem. I thank my 8th grade music teacher who introduced us to this.
I am grateful to have found this very nice rendition.
Published 16 days ago by Isaiah Tremaine
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Special
This is something I watched every Christmas seasons as a child. It was amazing to see this Christmas special again.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I Found It
I bought this for my sister and myself as we both used to view this every Christmas season on TV.
Published 4 months ago by Linda C. Bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars I was pleasantly surprised . . .
. . . at the quality of this video.

I love the show; I was a minor character in a college production; the climax brings me to tears. Read more
Published 5 months ago by David Zampino
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor video quality
This is old technology. I was disappointed, as the opera was special for me. I participated in a production in 1963 in Ellsworth, Maine with the Acadia Choral... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Anne H. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
I have enjoyed this beautiful music and wonderful story since I was young and I'm very glad to find it on DVD so I can pass it on to my grandchildren.
Published 5 months ago by Barbara Somers
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a classic.
It is a musical that came every year on a TV channel. I listened to it every time and loved it. Then it stopped coming. Sometime ago I saw an ad for it on Amazon.com. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kirti
5.0 out of 5 stars Amahl------a twentieth century opera masterpiece!
Don't miss this original production of Menotti's brilliant opera masterpiece. I have had the opportunity to see this original and numerous other productions-----and also to tour... Read more
Published 5 months ago by ann amenta
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Classic!
This opera was always an integral part of my Christmases when growing up in the 50's and 60's. I have always been amazed by the "genius" of Menotti - being able to write... Read more
Published 6 months ago by James P. Callaghan
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