HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY – Northern Kentucky University’s School of the Arts Opera will be staging Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act comedic operaThe Old Maid and the Thief on April 12 & 14 in Greaves Concert Hall at NKU.
When a beggar appears at their door, Miss Todd and her maid Laetitia swoon and allow him in. But little do they know, a dangerous thief has escaped from the county jail that very night. While keeping the town gossip Miss Pinkerton at bay, the ladies decide the fate of their new friend. Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief is a fast-paced and melodramatic comedic opera which tells a twisted tale of morals that will satisfy audiences of all ages.
“The Old Maid and the Thief is a one-act opera written specifically to be aired on the radio,” said director Kimberly Lazzeri. “Because the opera was originally meant to be heard and not seen, all of the action is vividly portrayed in the music! The music is melodic and totally accessible. Audiences might even leave whistling one of the beautiful arias featured in the production.”
Sarah DeMoor, a senior vocal performance major, is portraying the cunning and conniving maid Laetitia on the April 12 performance. She considers the music as both a highlight and challenge. “It is beautifully written… I have found an appreciation for not only my character’s portion of the score but the entirety of the orchestration as a whole. It is a masterpiece.”
Senior vocal performance major Ashley Patak, who is portraying Laetitia on April 14, has enjoyed playing the character and learned a lot in the process. “If someone has never seen an opera, this would be a really great one to start with because it is in English, and it’s hilarious… watching the different dynamics between each character and seeing their tactics to get what they each want would be entertaining to anyone.”
Kaitlin Fierro is landing her first big role in opera as Miss Pinkerton. The junior vocal performance major considers this her most challenging role in balancing the reality of the character with the general hilarity. “There is a fine line between good and bad comedy. I have such fun making people laugh that sometimes I have to pull myself up and do a mental check.”
Fierro knows the opera is not especially deep or philosophical, but everyone is going to go home laughing. “It is one of the most accessible operas I have had the pleasure of encountering. Menotti presents a quirky, fun story which the audience will fall in love with. My hope is that everyone will remember that one scene where they could not stop laughing.”
The NKU cast features Maria Bales (Miss Todd), Tyler Smith (Bob), Sarah DeMoor (Laetitia – April 12), Ashley Patak (Laetitia – April 14), and Kaitlin Fierro (Miss Pinkerton). Performances take place Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m. in Greaves Concert Hall at NKU. Tickets range $10-$17 and can be purchased at nku.edu/sotatickets or by calling 859-572-5464. Parking is available in Lots D & I on campus. For more information about NKU’s School of the Arts, please visit nku.edu/sota or follow on social media @NKUSOTA.
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