Although only in the sixth grade, Summit resident Adrian Gomes has a significant resume of performances and aspirations of one day acting on Broadway. Right now, Gomes is playing the lead role in several performances of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at the Oakes Center in Summit.
Gomes, 11, is in his first year at Summit Middle School and has already performed in the schools’ recent play, The Hobbit. Currently, Gomes is playing Amahl in Amahl and the Night Vistiors, a story of the three kings and their overnight stay in the home of a widow and her crippled son before they continue the journey to deliver gifts to baby Jesus.
Amahl is the crippled son of the widow who often tells fantasies or lies to his mother, when he tells her that kings are knocking at the door she thinks it is another one of his tales, but in turns out to be true.
Amahl and the Night Visitors is an opera written by Gian Carlo Menotti’s in the fifties to air on NBC as the first opera for television in America.
As his first opera performance, Gomes said he was able to learn a lot.
“I got to learn a lot since this was my first time,” he said. “Everyone else had other opera experience.”
He eventually hopes to one-day star in a performance of the Phantom of the Opera. His favorite past performance is the Summit High School production of Oklahoma.
Gomes has been in several plays, musicals, choir performances and other events since his debut performance in 101 Dalmatians in the second grade. One day, he hopes to be performing on Broadway.
“I definitely see him on stage somewhere,” his mother, Gloria Ron-Fornes said when looking ahead to her son’s future.
Fornes said that although only 11, Gomes already has a back-up plan when it comes to being an actor someday.
“If he can’t do it himself, he’ll be teacher,” she added.
The director of Gomes church choir told him he would be great in the upcoming production of Amahl and the Night Visitors and after auditioning Gomes got the part of Amahl for several of the opera’s show times.
Gomes said he enjoyed performing in Amahl and the Night Visitors and would do operas in the future but preferred performing in musicals.
“They (musicals) are more fun,” he said.
In the program for Amahl and the Night Visitors, Gomes thanked director Jean Dembaugh for her guidance. Dembaugh has directed the opera six times over several years for the Oakes Center.
Some of Gomes other performances include, the 2011 Summit Music Conservator production of Beauty and the Beast, as Sultan. Playing Le Fou in Aladdin in 2012. Also Gomes performed various roles in Willy Wonka and The Lion King. He has also performed in Summit High School productions of The Music Man and Oklahoma.
Ron-Fornes said that Gomes came to her with the idea of audition for the Music Man in 2009 and told her “Mom, I’m going to get in.”
Although he didn’t get the main role because the other actor was a better reader, Gomes still got in and he told his mother that is all that matters.
“He’s very resilient,” Ron-Fornes said.
In all of his performances, Ron-Fornes said he always builds a comradery with the other actors.
Gomes said he had a lot of fun working with the high school actors.
“It was a lot different then what I was used to,” he said.
Gomes is very active in the arts, even beyond his acting performances, he is a part of the Summit Middle School sixth grade orchestra and chamber orchestra, he sings with the St. Teresa’s Children Choir and The Continuo Arts Foundation Children’s Chorus.
As a member of The Continuo Arts Foundation Children’s Chorus, Gomes performed at Carnegie Hall and in a tribute to Michael Jackson in Atlantic City.
Gomes favorite instrument is the violin and he participates in private violin lessons, but also plays the piano and enjoys drawing. He added that he also speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
For such a standout performer, Gomes is very shy behind the scenes, he puts all of his bravery out on stage.
His mother added that he is extremely shy for an actor.
“Even when he was really little it took awhile for him to talk,” Ron-Fornes said, “But when he did it was in three different languages and very dramatic.”
She said that even his older brother, Brandon, is always saying to her, “Mom, why does he have to be so dramatic.”
At the end of Gomes Dec. 23 performance as Amahl, his friends were cheering him on and high-fiving him back stage. Many friends of the family were also in attendance; one couple told Gomes’ mother that he is always a joy to have in their presence.
They told his mother, “his smile makes your day shine.”
Amahl and the Night Visitors is playing at the Oakes Center in Summit on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30. Adrian Gomes will play Amahl at the 7p.m. performance on Dec. 29 and Andrew Pulver, a fifth grader at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, will play Amahl on Dec. 30 at 4p.m.
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