Two Comic Tales to be Performed by IUP Music Theater

Posted on 11/21/2011 10:47:43 AM

Music Theater at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will present Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief along with The Telephone on December 1–4, 2011. These two one-act comic operas will be performed at 8:00 p.m. on December 1-3, with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday, December 4.

The performances will take place on the Waller Hall Mainstage of the IUP Performing Arts Center. Both operas will be sung in English.

Menotti, who was born in 1911 and died in 2007, brought the world of opera alive to modern audiences in a way equaled by few contemporary composers. His music combines artistic and musical innovation with an unfailing sense of drama and sympathy for the special qualities of the human voice.

The Old Maid and the Thief was Menotti’s second opera, commissioned by NBC for a radio performance in 1939. The opera is set in a typical American town, inspired by Menotti’s own boyhood home in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The production is centered around the appearance of a stranger in town that coincides with rumors spread by several characters about a notorious criminal in their midst.

Composed in 1946, The Telephone centers on society’s preoccupation with technology and its interference in relationships. In it, Ben tries urgently to say farewell to his girlfriend, who always seems to be on the telephone. Timeless in theme, it is one of Menotti’s shortest works, with a main cast of two.

The Old Maid and the Thief The production is directed by Sarah Mantel with the orchestra under the direction of Stanley Chepaitis. Both are on the Music faculty at IUP. Of the two works, Mantel stated, “There is an extraordinary bond between the words and music in our operas and in the ability of the music to draw you into the diverse worlds” of both of these works.

Tickets for the production are available in advance at the Hadley Union Building or online now at IUP Tickets. Tickets remaining will be sold at the door start at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 1. Tickets are $15 regular admission, $13 for senior citizens, and $9 for students and children.

For more information on the performance, Music Theater series, or other events by the IUP College of Fine Arts, please call the Lively Arts at 724-357-2397, or e-mail us at

Music Theater is presented by the Department of Music and College of Fine Arts. It is funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association.

Music Theater


The Old Maid and the Thief AND The Telephone

December 1, 2011
8:00 p.m.

December 2, 2011
8:00 p.m.

December 3, 2011
8:00 p.m.

December 4, 2011
2:00 p.m.

Waller Hall Mainstage, Performing Arts Center

Two one-act comic operas, sung in English and filled with expressive melody, comic fanfare, and drama.

This event is over.

For more information, visit The Old Maid and the Thief AND The Telephone, e-mail , or call 724-357-2787.