School of Music Celebrates Christmas with Classical Opera


This December, in celebration of Christ’s birth, Southern Adventist University’s School of Music performed the classic Christmas opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors. Current and former students brought many of the key roles to life, accompanied by three of Southern’s music ensembles: Bel Canto, Die Meistersinger, and the Symphony Orchestra.

Written by Gian Carlo Menotti in 1951, Amahl and the Night Visitors retells the story of the Magi from the point of view of Amahl, a young, impoverished boy with a wild imagination who meets three kings on their journey to find the newborn Savior.

Laurie Redmer Cadwallader, associate professor of music and symphony orchestra conductor, saw this opera as the perfect fit for the choirs, the soloists, and the instrumentalists.
“This is another way of sharing art,” she said.

The main roles were cast during the summer, followed by months of practice to perfect the technical intricacies of the piece. Julie Penner, professor of music and director of the production, is grateful for how well each performance was received by students, employees, and community members.

“I am thankful to God for His inspiration and blessing over all of the performances,” Penner said. “Those I spoke with afterward were touched by the story and by the performers’ portrayals of it.”