Press Release for Tuesday, November 27, 2007

UNF Opera Ensemble Presents 'Amahl and the Night Visitors'

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida Opera Ensemble, featuring members of the UNF String Ensemble and the UNF Chamber Singers, will present “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Gian-Carlo Menotti, starting Friday, Dec. 7, through Sunday, Dec. 9, at the UNF Andrew Robinson Theater.

Show performances are at 8 p.m. each evening with a 3 p.m. matinee only on Sunday, Dec. 9. Tickets for this event are available at the door for $12 or can be purchased at the UNF Fine Arts Center Box Office by calling (904) 620-2878 or online at

The tender and heartwarming story of “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” directed by Dr. Krzysztof Biernacki, head of Applied Voice in UNF’s Department of Music, is one of the most popular of American operas. It’s performed internationally every Christmas season and remains one of the most frequently performed operas of the 20th century.

Expressly written for television, the one-act opera premiered Christmas Eve 1951 on NBC and was repeated thereafter for 16 Christmas seasons, earning its place as one of the most important American works representing the holiday season. “Amahl,” with its beautiful score and touching libretto sung in English, is appealing to all ages and musical backgrounds. It remains an inspiring story of how faith, charity, unselfish love and good deeds can work miracles.

The UNF Opera Ensemble was established by Biernacki in 2006. Comprised and cast entirely from undergraduate voice majors, the Ensemble focuses on skill development, stage craft, and theatrical experience through production and performance of complete, vocally-suitable operatic works with orchestra. The opera ensemble also engages in community outreach, student recruitment and the promotion of operatic arts in the community.

Last April, the UNF Opera Ensemble proudly finished its inaugural season with a triumphant production of “Dido and Aeneas” by Henry Purcell as the first fully-staged operatic production in the history of UNF.

“Sister Angelica” by Giacomo Puccini, which is sung in Italian with English super titles, will be performed at 8 p.m. April 25 through April 27 at the UNF Robinson Theater. For more information, go to