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

Double Bill Opera at UALR Tonight and Sunday

The UALR Opera Theatre will present a double-bill performance of “The Telephone” and “The Medium,” both by Gian Carlo Menotti, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 3, and again at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 5, in the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall in the UALR Fine Arts Building.

Opeara at UALRBoth performances will feature the talents of students in the vocal arts program and will be performed in English, the language in which they were written.  These operas premiered on Broadway in the 1940s as a double-bill and have been presented together and separately by opera  Carcompanies and theatre troupes since then.

UALR students can receive one free ticket; all other student tickets are $5. These tickets may be reserved by calling 501.569-3295.

For general admission, tickets are $15 and can be purchased through the music box office at 501.569.8993.

“The Telephone”
“The Telephone” is a romantic comic opera in one act about a suitor on a mission.

According to Don Bernardini, professor of music and director of the vocal program, “Ben, bearing a gift, comes to visit Lucy at her apartment. He wants to propose to her before he leaves on a trip. Despite his attempts to get her attention for sufficient time to ask his question, Lucy is occupied with interminable conversations on the telephone, but Ben will not be deterred!”


“The Medium”
“The Medium” is a two-act dramatic opera. Would-be psychic, Baba, with her daughter, Monica, pose as ghosts from the beyond during séances.

They take in a person who is deaf and doesn’t speak as a lodger but become distrustful of him. During one session, Baba feels a mysterious cold hand around her throat which panics her into revealing to her clients that she is a fake. When they refuse to believe her, Baba’s terror leads to tragedy.