THE OLD MAID & THE THIEF – A 1939 Radio Hour presented by Opera in the Rock this weekend

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Step back to 1939! This one-act opera described by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti as “an opera-buffa for radio in fourteen scenes” tells a twisted tale of morals amongst a gaggle of nosy women and an unsuspecting man. Commissioned by NBC Radio in 1939, it was one of the earliest operatic works composed specifically for live radio.

In what’s sure to be a fun-filled evening of laughs and spectacle, Opera In The Rock will be presenting the work as a live radio play, complete with larger-than-life actors, on stage music, live sound effects, and comical commercial breaks. Starring Metropolitan Opera singer Diane Kesling alongside local soprano favorite Christine Donahue, the cast also includes Shannon Rookey, Ron Jensen-McDaniel, Sarah Stankiewicz Dailey, and Kevin Lambert of Lancaster, PA.

“The Old Maid and The Thief: A 1939 Radio Hour” will be sung in English with music direction and piano accompaniment by John Willis.

Performances are August 23 and 24 at 7:30pm and August 25 at 2:30pm.

Ticket Types:
General Admission, $35
Student Ticket, $25
VIP Ticket, $50 (Includes Drink Voucher & Prime Reserved Seating)

Venue Information:
The Studio Theatre
320 W 7th Street

ASO Happy Holidays Concerts

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs their annual, audience favorite holiday concert this weekend.  The first concert was last night but it repeats tonight, Saturday, December 15 at 8pm and Sunday, December 16 at 3pm. at Robinson Center Music Hall. This is the second concert of the Acxiom Pops Live! Series. This concert is sponsored in part by Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The audience will enjoy traditional Christmas carols, Arkansas stars, and special surprises that are sure to entertain the whole family. Everyone is invited to get cozy with the ASO as we celebrate the most wonderful time of year.

Bring the kids to the Holiday Children’s Fair at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Robinson Center Music Hall main lobby. Touch and play string, woodwind and brass instruments at the Instrument Petting Zoo, visit with Santa and join in on arts and crafts.

Tickets range from $14-$52 and can be purchased online at or over the phone at (501) 666-1761. Thanks to the Entergy Kids Ticket, all kids through 12th grade are free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information, visit

Under the direction of Maestro Philip Mann, the concert will featured the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra joined by Ballet Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir (under the direction of Dr. Michael Bates), the Ted Ludwig Trio, mezzo-soprano Diane Kesling, the Central Arkansas Children’s Choir (under the direction of Dr. Ryan Fisher), Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra musicians and the Two Jewish Guys (the redoubtable Phil Kaplan and Leslie Singer).

UALR Music offers Opera A La Carte Thursday evening

The UALR Opera Theatre will present “Opera à la Carte” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the Great Hall of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. Proceeds from this dinner will benefit the opera endowment fund.

Throughout the evening, guests will be treated to performances by UALR vocal music students. Cocktails will be served before dinner, and guests will be able to stroll the mansion gardens where student vocalists will perform.

“During each of the three dinner courses, delightful musical selections will be served to accompany the meal,” said Diane Kesling, assistant professor of music.

The evening also will include a silent auction featuring three specialty-designed hats from last season’s production of “Four Saints in Three Acts” by Virgil Thomson.

The UALR Opera Endowment Fund supports all aspects of opera production, such as purchase of music, scenery, orchestration, and costumes.