Collaboration transforms Schermerhorn Symphony Center into an opera stage for four special performances

Nashville Opera and the Nashville Symphony present a special co-production of two children’s operas: Gian Carlos Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors and Maurice Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (The Child and the Magic). The stage of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center will be transformed with theatrical lighting, scenic elements from noted designer Ron Kadri, costumes from Saturday Night Live alum Franne Lee, and an international cast of opera performers.

The single-act operas will be staged Thursday, Nov. 30, through Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. with a 3 p.m. matinée set for Sunday, Dec. 3.   All performances will be in the Schermerhorn Symphony Center at One Symphony Place in Downtown Nashville. Seats range from $32.50 to $107.50 and can be purchased by calling the Nashville Symphony Box Office at (615) 687-6400 or by visiting  

Originally commissioned by NBC specifically for holiday television broadcast, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors retells the timeless story of the Three Kings who are following the star to Bethlehem and seek shelter for the night in the home of a poor shepherd boy, Amahl, and his widowed mother.

Though rarely performed in America, Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (The Child and the Magic) has delighted audiences worldwide with its charm, mood and imagery. The story focuses on a bad little boy. After being scolded by his mother for not completing his homework, the little boy throws a tantrum. During this fit of anger, he destroys much of his room and torments his pets. Magically, all of these objects come to life to teach the little boy an important lesson which leads to the poignant conclusion.

Each opera has a running time of approximately 45 minutes and the production is suitable for children and adults. These works will also be recorded for future CD release on the Naxos label.

“What a thrill it is to celebrate the holidays with friends and family by creating beautiful performances in the spectacular Schermerhorn Symphony Center,” says Carol Penterman, Nashville Opera’s executive director. “This performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors  and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges which melds the Nashville Opera, the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Ballet, is truly a gathering of family.”

The cast includes mezzo-soprano Kirsten Gunlogson (Amahl: “Mother”; L’Enfant: “The Chinese Cup”, “Herdsman”, “White Cat”), tenor Dean Anthony (Amahl: “Kaspar;” L’Enfant: “The Tea Pot”, “Arithmetic Man”, “Tree Frog”), baritone Todd Thomas (Amahl: “Melchior;” L’Enfant: “The Clock”, “Black Cat”). Making their Nashville Opera debut are mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne as L’Enfant, and boy soprano Ike Hawkersmith as Amahl. Both operas are directed by John Hoomes. Maestro Alastair Willis will lead the Nashville Symphony.
Nashville Opera and the Nashville Symphony’s production of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges is made possible on behalf of the Nashville Opera by generous support of guardian sponsors, HCA-TriStar and Ingram. Season Sponsors include the Nashville Opera Guild, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Baldwin is the official piano of Nashville Opera, and Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel is the official hotel. Nashville Symphony’s classical series is sponsored by SunTrust Bank. Cadillac is the official car of the Nashville Symphony, and American Airlines is the official airline of the Nashville Symphony.

About Nashville Opera

In September 1997, Nashville Opera merged with Tennessee Opera Theatre and the Nashville Opera Guild becoming Middle Tennessee’s only professional opera organization, the Nashville Opera Association. In a typical season, the Opera produces four main-stage productions and a six week education tour to area schools, conducts a three-month residency Young Artist Program for young professional singers, and produces numerous community outreach programs.

About Nashville Symphony

The Nashville Symphony, led by President and CEO Alan D. Valentine and Music Advisor Leonard Slatkin, is made up of 81 full-time musicians.  Each season, the Symphony performs and presents more than 200 concerts, including classical, pops, jazz, special events, Pied Piper children’s performances, and other outreach performances.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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