PRESS RELEASE: Holiday Double Bill

December 1, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December. 1, 2019

Lyric Opera Orange County Announces Double Bill Holiday Productions


            Lyric Opera of Orange County announced its holiday double-bill of one act productions, The Prodigal Son by Claude Debussy and Amahl & The Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti, to be performed on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 at 6 pm at La Habra Christian Church, 1400 Bella Vista Dr., La Habra Heights; Saturday Jan. 4, 2020 at 7 pm at Geneva Presbyterian Church, 24301 El Toro Rd, Laguna Woods, CA 92637, and Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 at 6 pm at St. John’s Episcopal School, 30382 Via Con Dios, Rancho Santa Margarita. Both stories are presented in English and are suitable for the whole family (recommended ages 6+).

            The Prodigal Son, by Debussy, follows the parable which demonstrates the deep love and capacity for forgiveness a parent shows a lost child. Amahl & the Night Visitors, by Menotti, meets Amahl and his mother, who have been forced to beg, and now, steal for survival. Both stories demonstrate the deep love and sacrifices a family will make for their loved ones, and that we are all worthy of compassion and forgiveness, no matter how difficult.

            “I’ve wanted to use Lyric Opera OC to demonstrate the ability of music to connect people,” said Diana Farrell, artistic director & president of Lyric Opera OC, “and I love the idea of pairing these two stories which both revolve around the relationship between mother and son, and how that connection evolves with age. I think during the holiday season the complexities of familial relationships are relevant to us all.” Farrell is an accomplished soprano and stage director who has performed nationally and earned her artist diploma from the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music.

            Music Director of Amahl & The Night Visitors is Gary Toops, known for his leadership of the Festival Singers of Orange County. Mr. Toops made his Carnegie Hall debut as an organist in 1996. Kate Bode will be Music Director of The Prodigal Son. Bode performed nationally in venues such as the famed Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Both return to Lyric Opera OC for the second time. Amahl & the Night Visitors stars 13 year old 8th grader from the Classical Voice Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts, Ethan Audiss as the title character. Ethan often performs in musical theatre, but this is his operatic debut. “I am excited to do this opera;” Ethan says, “this will be great experience.  I love singing and I get to meet and learn from new people on how to challenge myself and grow my voice.  I think this will be a fun show.”

            Curtain goes up at 6 pm (7 pm on 1/4/20) and running time is 80 minutes with brief intermission. Tickets are $25 for General admission and $20 for seniors & students. Tickets are available at the door or on the company website:

Cast Lists

Prodigal Son

Musical Director: Kate Bode

Stage Director: Diana Farrell

Stage Manager: Ashley Chaney

Emily Dyer as Lia

Steve Pence as Siméon

Alexis Alfaro as Azaël

Amahl & the Night Visitors

Musical Director: Gary Toops

Stage Director: Diana Farrell

Stage Manager: Ashley Chaney

Ethan Audiss as Amahl

Emily Dyer as Mother

Michael O’Halloran as King Melchior

Luke Norvell as King Kaspar

Norman Espinoza as King Balthazar

Andrew Dana Walker as The Page

Chorus: Stehpen Oey, Kelsey Fahy, Stacey Simbulan

Dancers: Elsie Rudge & Sage Lowery

Piano: Kate Bode

Organ: Gary Toops

Oboe: Mindi Champanian

Costumes: Diana Rodriguez

Sets & Props: Scotland King