Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” may be known for its talking furniture, but the opera, “L’enfant et les sortileges,” did it first.
Belmont’s School of Music will open its productions of the two operas “L’enfant et les sortileges” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors” Friday night in the Troutt Theater.
Each production is approximately an hour long with a 15 minute intermission between performances.
“L’enfant et les sortileges” follows a young boy who throws a tantrum and tears his room apart. His toys and furniture then come alive to punish him for his bad behavior.
Meg Henderson, a senior vocal performance major who plays the nightingale, said the music is simultaneously orderly and chaotic to fit the theme of the show.
“This show is not supposed to be a pretty show. It’s about this nightmare sequence,” said Henderson.
Other than the child, played by Hannah Marcoe, there are no lead roles, said Henderson.
Instead, the story is told in a series of vignettes — a teapot, a cat, a princess and various other objects and creatures visit the child and chide him for his wicked behavior.
“Amahl and the Night Visitors” is about a disabled shepherd boy named Amahl who encounters the Three Kings on their journey to see Jesus.
Rebecca McCauley, a third-year graduate student studying vocal performance and vocal pedagogy, plays Amahl’s mother. Although Amahl’s mother makes a questionable decision, she does it for the sake of her child.
Playing the role has required Mccauley to tap into empathy for her character, she said.
“Every time I go on stage, I have this genuine feeling of gratefulness for the world that I live in and the God that I live under,” said McCauley.
Full of both tender and humorous moments, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” tells a beautiful story in a little less than an hour.
Performing in the opera has helped Henderson to grow as a performer, she said. “Opera is about telling a story in an entirely different way,” said Henderson. “It’s about the rise and fall of the line and using the music to emphasize the story.”
Although opera is becoming a less accessible art form, Emily Kivi, a first-year graduate student who plays the princess and the fire in “L’enfant et les sortileges,” believes this only makes the art form more precious.
“One of the reasons I came to Belmont was to see all the different types of music that I could,” said Kivi. “I think it is just as important for me to see a commercial ensemble as it is for a commercial voice major to see the opera.”
“L’enfant et les sortileges” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors” open Friday at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m..