By Kevin Dye
Two young area vocal performers are about to share a role next weekend in an opera production that chronicles the meeting between a young boy and three kings searching for a child.
Luke Peart, a third grade student at London Elementary, and Logan Van Bibber, a fifth grade student at Norwood Elementary, are sharing the role of Amahl in the Opera Project Columbus production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on Saturday, Jan. 7 and Sunday, Jan. 8.
Luke’s performance will be the first of the two on Saturday night and Logan follows in the role of Amahl on Sunday. It is a role that both boys have been hard at work at practicing the acting and the singing for the opera since the beginning of September when weekly practice began. Both are excited about their opportunity to be in such a big performance at such a young age.
“My music teacher Katie Bates (London Elementary) got me involved in Columbus Children’s Choir and I have done that for three years now,” Luke Peart said. “She suggested I audition and I sang some songs that I knew. I was pretty excited when I won the role. They told me a week later that Logan was the other person.”
Logan Van Bibber had a similar musical start at Norwood Elementary.
“I started singing in the fourth grade,” Logan Van Bibber said. “I was in Norwood’s Honors Choir and Dr. Sandra Mathias recommended that I audition for the role of Amahl, I already knew Amahl, so I sang the song at the beginning of the opera and they said that was great. So, I got the role right then.”
Even though their paths crossed slightly before the role of Amahl, though the weeks and weeks of vocal and acting practices, Luke and Logan have become good friends.
“I knew Logan from Columbus Children’s Choir, so it was nice to share the same role with him,” Luke said.
“We are really good friends now since we began working together,” Logan said.
The Opera Project Columbus production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” features Alessandro Siciliani as the conductor and he has been present for many of the practices.
“He came to about three or four of the vocal practices and he came to all of the acting practices,” Luke said. “It’s very exciting. It’s the biggest thing that I have ever done.”
“I kind of knew the opera already, so the only thing I need to work on is the acting,” Logan said. “But, it’s good to experience new things.”
Both boys have different goals when it comes to making music a future career choice. One has formed a bond with the pianist for the practices and looks forward learning more from him after the opera is over.
“I want to learn piano and be a professional singer,” Logan said. “Ed Pak plays piano for our practices and he is going to take me under his wing and teach me to play the piano. I took guitar lessons for several years and now I want to play the piano. I love any kind of music, I just love music.”
“My sister Ruth is a singer,” Luke said. “So, we always say; you never know where music might take you.”“Amahl and the Night Visitors” is the story of a young boy and his mother who are visited by three kings that are traveling and following a star to find the Christ child. The Gian Carlo Menotti opera has the odd history of being commissioned by NBC in 1951 for a live nationwide broadcast. It was the first opera ever commissioned for an American television audience and a record five million viewers tuned in to watch the event.
“Amahl and the Night Visitors” will be presented for the Feast of the Epiphany at Walter Commons at the St. Charles Preparatory School, 2010 E. Broad St. in Columbus at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, and at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for children, students, and seniors.
For more information visit operaprojectcolumbus.org.