If you’re planning to celebrate the holidays by attending a live performance, you‘re likely considering going to The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. But there’s another incredible, traditional holiday production you may have overlooked: Amahl and the Night Visitors—and you can catch it right here in Colorado Springs.
Presented by the Colorado Springs Conservatory (CSC) and the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, this one-act opera will be at Pikes Peak Center November 28th and 29th. It debuted in 1951 and premiered on television, and CSC has been presenting it for the past 16 years.
“This is an American classic. In this time of global conversations, we’re bringing so many people together, with music as that level playing field,” says Linda Weise, CEO of CSC, which provides world-class performing arts programs, classes, and camps for students of all ages. “Here you have a piece of American music that’s as much a part of the global music landscape as The Nutcracker at the holidays.”
Here are three reasons to check out Amahl and the Night Visitors.
1. It’s affordable and accessible
“This is our gift to the community, so we try to keep ticket prices really affordable so it can be a point of entry to this art form,” Weise says. This year, tickets are between $10 and $20. And at just 40 minutes long, the production is accessible and relatable, even to opera newcomers. It very well might change your perception of opera.
CSC’s version focuses on themes of poverty and empathy, rather than any overt religious themes, and features over 80 adorable and talented kids. Several CSC alumni, who were once in the production themselves, have returned to work on the production.
2. You’ll help keep alive an American tradition
“What’s cool about Amahl is we see a lot of grandparents bringing their grandchildren, because most of them have grown up watching this on TV,” Weise says. “People come from over 100 miles to see this little opera. They grew up with it, so it means so much to them.” For many members of that older generation, this opera is as much a Christmas tradition as Santa Claus — and you can help keep it alive.
“It was written in the 50s as a commission to be premiered on TV, when TV just starting to show up in every American living room,” Weise says. “They wanted a holiday piece for all people.”
3. It’s a magical, feel-good story to get you in the holiday spirit
Nine times out of 10, people who’ve never seen this production before tell Weise, “I was so pleasantly surprised, it made my heart so feel, what a beautiful gift this time of year.” It’s a story about empathy and perspective that will leave you feeling good at the end. “The magic is that the moral of the story is if you keep believing, amazing things happen,” Weise says. “Faith brings amazing things.”
This article originally appeared on KOAA.com