Share Tweet Share Email

Opera Theater plans ‘Old Maid and the Thief’

March 16, 2011

Poster for "The Old Man and the Thief"As the finale to its current season, NIU Opera Theater, in collaboration with the NIU Philharmonic, presents Carlo Menotti’s first English opera, “The Old Maid and the Thief.”

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 1, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 3, in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, located at 400 Lucinda Ave. in the NIU Music Building.

“The Old Maid and the Thief” was originally conceived as a radio-opera and broadcast April 22, 1939, by NBC. It is a one-act opera and lasts approximately 75 minutes.

Menotti’s opera tells the story of the lonely Miss Todd, who takes in a homeless visitor named Bob. Miss Todd and her maid, Laetitia, are so captivated by Bob that they devise a scheme to keep him hidden in Miss Todd’s home for an extended stay. The plot takes several turns as Miss Todd and Laetitia compete for Bob’s affection.

NIU’s production will be performed as radio drama before a live audience, in a similar way to the 1939 broadcast, with sound effects and an announcer.

Music director Lucia Matos has appeared with numerous orchestras in the United States, Brazil and Europe, and has recorded a CD with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, released by Cala Records.

She is the music director of the NIU Philharmonic and Opera Theater since 2008, and music director of the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra since 2009. In the field of opera, her repertoire includes “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Cosi fan tutte,” “L’Elisir d’Amore,” “La Traviata,” “Tosca,” “I Pagliacci,” “Samson et Dalilah,” “Hansel and Gretel” and Duke Bluebeard’s “Castle.”

Before coming to NIU, stage director Stanton Davis served as speech and dialect coach for the graduate and undergraduate actors as well as teaching speech and acting at Temple University’s Theatre Department. Before that, he was at SUNY New Paltz where he taught voice, acting, Shakespeare, dramatic literature and stage combat.

Davis received his MFA in acting from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program and his BFA from the University of Utah Actor Training Program.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for non-NIU students. Tickets are available at the door by calling the School of Music at (815) 753-1551 or Lynn Slater at (815) 753-1546. The Music Building is accessible to all.

For more information, contact Matos at [email protected] or (815) 753-7580.