Lyric Opera returns Christmas favorite


Posted by Bob Evans

For Tickets: or 816-471-7344          

Lyric Opera of Kansas City

       Announces Live Performances of

Amahl and the Night Visitors


Never before seen by live, in-person audiences,  performances run Dec. 2 -12 at the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building  at the Lyric Opera Center 

Negative COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated children under 12  allowed for all performances


KANSAS CITY, MO (Nov.15, 2021) —Lyric Opera of Kansas City General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler today announced the return of live performances for the Lyric Opera’s holiday production, Amahl and the Night Visitors. Performances will run Dec. 2 – 12 at the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building (712 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108). High-res photos can be found here.

Sandler stated, “We were so heartbroken to have cancelled live performances last year after we all worked so very hard to create this world premiere. Now, we cannot wait to welcome families back for live, in-person performances of our holiday production. This production, with its stunning life size puppets and glorious sets is meant to be seen live and in person. We promise you will be dazzled and deeply moved.”

Created in 2020 and not yet seen by live audiences, this Lyric Opera production of

Menotti’s classic Christmas opera utilizes newly created puppets, designed by Kansas City’s legendary puppet master, Paul Mesner, brought to life by a team of puppeteers and live voices in a magical new setting as well as a new orchestral version, created especially for Lyric Opera.

Seamlessly pairing live singing and music with masterful puppetry, Amahl and the Night Visitors brings to life the story of three kings – the Magi – who have traveled from faraway lands to bring gifts to a child born in Bethlehem. When they stop to rest for the night, they are taken in by an impoverished, disabled boy and his mother. Amahl is dazzled both by their stories and the exotic treasures they carry, but the humble host will soon show them what it truly means to give with a generous heart, triggering a miraculous ending to this inspiring story. Based on Italian folktales of the Nativity and the Epiphany, this imaginative, unique telling of the first Christmas is an original Lyric Opera of Kansas City production created in collaboration with master puppeteer Paul Mesner. This is a heartwarming holiday tradition designed with families in mind.


Amahl and the Night Visitors

Music/Libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti

One act, approx. 50 – minute performance, sung in English

First performed live on national television on Christmas

Even 1951, as the debut production of the Hallmark Hall of Fame series. Last performed at Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 1993.

Appropriate for vaccinated children ages 12+


Cast and Artistic Team

Amahl: Finn Kuykendall, Delilah Rose Pellow

The Mother: Danielle Beckvermit, Aubrey Odle

King Kaspar:  Wayd Odle*

King Melchior: Keith Klein*

King Balthazar: Peter Morgan*


Conductor: Piotr Wisniewski

Original Production by Shawna Lucey

Director : James Smith*

Puppet Designer: Paul Mesner

Set Designer: Steven Kemp

Lighting Designer: Michael Clark

Costume Designer: Nancy Robinson

* Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut

Amahl and the Night Visitors 

The Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building (712 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108)

Thursday, December 2  7:30 pm
Friday, December 3  7:30 pm
Saturday, December 4  2:00 pm
Sunday, December 5  2:00 pm
Thursday, December 9  7:30 pm
Friday, December 10  7:30 pm
Saturday, December 11  2:00 pm
Sunday, December 12  2:00 pm

Health and Safety COVID-19 Protocols

Lyric Opera of Kansas City will allow unvaccinated children under 12 to attend performances of Amahl and the Night Visitors by presenting a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of performance time. In addition, unvaccinated children must wear a mask while inside the Production Arts Building, and a fully vaccinated adult must accompany the child.

All individuals ages 12+ who attend Amahl and the Night Visitors performances at the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building must provide proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination. Masks are strongly  recommended. This policy applies to all patrons, event staff, and volunteers.

This change in policy does not affect the performances of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs or Tosca in the spring of 2022; at this time, we are still only allowing fully vaccinated individuals above the age of 12 for spring performances.

Lyric Opera continues to monitor information shared by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the city of Kansas City, MO, and partners. For more information, visit CDC and the World Health Organization. In addition, the Kauffman Center has a health and safety plan in place. For further details, please visit the Kauffman Center Health and Safety page for current information.

For questions, please email here or call Ticketing and Patron Services at (816) 471-7344, Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.


At Ease with Opera

Amahl and the Night Visitors

Presented by Lyric Opera Guild

Admission to At Ease events is free and open to everyone.

Monday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m., at Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO, 64110

The Other Operas of Gian Carlo Menotti

Amahl and the Night Visitors is a popular holiday-themed opera from the pen of one of America’s finest opera composers, Gian Carlo Menotti. But Menotti wrote many other operas too, which are unfortunately rarely performed these days. Several decades ago, however, his operas were among the most frequently performed works of the American stage.

Lyric Opera Guild speaker Bob Wise will discuss the other operas of Gian Carlo Menotti and present video and audio excerpts from these works. This presentation will give you a useful context for Lyric Opera’s presentation of Amahl and the Night Visitors  this December. Perhaps it will stimulate you to explore some of the other wonderful works of this too-little-performed composer.

Monday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m., at Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO,


Amahl and his Night Visitors as Puppets: The Puppeteer’s Viewpoint

The puppets which will be used in the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s presentations of Amahl and the Night Visitors were designed by Paul Mesner and built by a team of artists headed by Grace Hudson. Mesner, a master puppeteer, was the founder and longtime artistic director of Paul Mesner Puppets (now known, as Mesner Puppets). Paul has built and operated thousands of puppets during his long and celebrated career.

In this presentation, Paul Mesner will talk with us about how he builds his puppets, demonstrate how they are operated, and describe the process of collaboration between the orchestra, the singers, the conductor, and the puppeteers. He will teach us about the science and art of puppet making and puppetry in general. Join us for this fascinating presentation to gain some insights into the unique issues and joys of puppet opera.

Community Conversations

Why does opera matter today?

How is it relevant to the Kansas City  community?

Community Conversations, a new series by Lyric Opera of Kansas City, answers the question: “Why does opera matter today in Kansas City?” In collaboration with community partners and taking shape in a variety of formats, these experiences will explore the “here and now” implications of our productions and

provide a path to further unlock the potential of opera.

Amahl and the Night Visitors Community Conversation:

How Shall We Live Through Tomorrow?

Sun., Nov. 21, 5- 6:30p, Church of the Resurrection Downtown Administrative

Center, 1522 McGee, Kansas City, MO 64108

“How shall we live through tomorrow?” This question, asked by Amahl’s mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, is a very real consideration for many individuals in our community. Join a panel of community service members as we explore themes of food insecurity, homelessness, and interfaith service efforts in Kansas City. Live music from Amahl and the Night Visitors will amplify the discussion and the experience will conclude with a Q&A. RSVP at Community Conversations.

Engagement Guide

Parents and educators will be pleased to learn that a FREE engagement guide is available for. Learn more about the production by watching videos, listening to excerpts, learning about the story and  more through this study guide. Please visit Lyric Opera Amahl and the Night Visitors for more information.

Q &A

At Thursday night performances, families are invited to participate in a Q&A with the cast following the show.

Subscriber and Single Ticket Information

Single tickets are available for $35. Families of four or more can purchase tickets starting at $50. Subscriptions for the 21-22 season are 2-opera packages containing The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and Tosca with two add-on experiences, Lyric Opera Goes to Hollywood and Amahl and the Night Visitors. Subscribers save 20% off single ticket prices, 10% off single ticket add-ons, and get access to seats before the general public. Season ticket packages range from $64 to $288.

For ticket information, visit the Lyric Opera website or contact Lyric Opera Ticketing & Patron Services at (816) 471-7344.

About Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Founded in 1958 and now one of the nation’s premiere regional opera companies, Lyric

Opera of Kansas City brings high-quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original-language performances of standard repertory, as well as contemporary and American operas. The company’s productions enrich the community it serves while reflecting the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative programs to further music and arts education in schools and in the community. Opera lovers can be fans of Lyric Opera of Kansas City on Facebook or follow the company on Twitter or Instagram at @kcopera and at


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