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A Scholarship Fundraising Production by the San Jose State Opera Theater & Choral Departments & Valley Christian High School Conservatory

 Amahl and the Night Visitors Poster


A Family Affair:

 Mother and Son Sing Together In

Amahl and the Night Visitors

By Gian Carlo Menotti


“Ever since I began singing the role of ‘His Mother’ in Menotti’s Amahl in the Night Visitors, I dreamed about what it would be like to have a son who sang beautifully, and who shared the vision of performing with his mother!” said Layna Chianakas Haddad. She knew this was a tall order, but miraculously, her dream is turning in to a reality as her son and she will sing the opera as a scholarship fundraising effort for San José State University’s Opera Workshop and Choral programs.

Ghythe Haddad, a 6th grader at Valley Christian Junior High School will sing the title role. “I’ve always liked to sing and I perform when we have people over for dinner, but I never had voice lessons until my mom began teaching me last summer. At first I was nervous about singing ‘Amahl’ because it’s a big role, but now I am just excited. Besides, I like singing with my mom.”

Known for her numerous performances in operatic roles around the United States and our Bay Area, Ms. Chianakas is an Associate Professor of Voice at San José State University and still maintains an active national performing career. This project is very near to her heart as she will sing with Metropolitan Opera tenor and colleague, Professor Joseph Frank, in the role of King Kaspar, rounded out by a cast of graduate and undergraduate SJSU voice students as well as the SJSU Choraliers who will perform the Shepherds’ Chorus in the production. Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Jeffrey Benson, will conduct. “This is truly a labor of love from each of us. We believe in the high quality of our School of Music and Dance Vocal Department, and feel very passionate about showing our community what we can do to enhance the arts in San José,” said Benson.

The second performance will be at Valley Christian High School’s Conservatory Hall in the new Conservatory of the Arts building.  Dr. Mark Hulse is looking forward to a chance to collaborate with SJSU.  “I encourage our whole community to attend this wonderful opera and to have the chance to see our new Conservatory of the Arts building which was completed in Summer 2011.  Four of our outstanding high school students will sing in the Shepherd’s Chorus the second evening, and they are looking forward to being a part of a professional operatic experience.”


Amahl and the Night Visitors will be performed:

November 30th at 7:30pm in the SJSU Concert Hall (fundraising, joint performance of the SJSU Opera Workshop and Choral departments)

Tickets: $25-General/$15-Students/$10-SJSU School of Music and Dance Students and Valley Christian Students with ID

December 1st at 7:30pm in the Valley Christian Conservatory and Student Life Building, 100 Skyway Drive, San Jose, CA 95111 (collaborative production of SJSU Opera Workshop & Choral Departments and Valley Christian School)

Tickets: $25-General/$15-Students/$10-SJSU School of Music and Dance Students and Valley Christian Students with ID

For more general information call: 408-924-4658 or email: AmahlSJSU@gmail.com