Author: Megan Fisher
Date: October 18, 2017
Categories: Music|Music & Arts

Houghton College Lyric Theatre will present an evening of two comedic one-act operas – The Old Maid and the Thief and The Telephone – on October 26, 27, and 28 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the show in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall are $10 for regular admission, $8 for senior citizens (65 and older), and $5 for Houghton students (with ID), high school students, and children.

American-Italian composer Gian Carlo Menotti brings contemporary flair to these modern operatic productions. The Old Maid and the Thief is the tale of Miss Todd, a busybody in her small town; her young housemaid Laetitia; the town gossip Miss Pinkerton; and Bob, a wanderer. When Bob comes to Miss Todd's door one afternoon while Miss Pinkerton is visiting, Laetitia is enamored of Bob’s beauty and convinces Miss Todd to let him stay. His identity remains a secret to Miss Todd’s guests and soon chaos ensues. As Menotti writes in the libretto, “The devil couldn't do what a woman can – make a thief out of an honest man!”

The Telephone tells the story of Ben and Lucy. Ben, bearing a gift, comes to visit Lucy at her apartment, as he wants to propose to her before he leaves on a trip. Despite his repeated attempts to get her attention for sufficient time to ask his question, Lucy is occupied with interminable conversations on the telephone. What will Ben have to do to capture Lucy’s undivided attention?

Directed by Amanda Cox, instructor of voice at the Houghton College Greatbatch School of Music, the eight person cast includes Daniel Bussey (sophomore, music), Joshua Ellis (freshman, music), Lauren Grifoni (junior, music and equestrian), Kingsley Kolek (senior, music and theology), Sissi Lu (senior, music), Alessia Paolini (graduate student, voice performance), Aniela Perez (senior, music), and Ellenore Tarr (senior, music). Elizabeth Liddick, staff accompanist and coordinator of graduate studies, will be featured on piano for both operas. The Old Maid will be conducted by Victoria Pitre, instructor of voice and music recruitment coordinator, while graduate student Dillon Hirsch (instrumental conducting) will conduct The Telephone.

“It has been my joy and privilege to work with his incredible cast, and I am honored to share them in these performances,” says Cox. “I know that the audience will find them to be engaging, talented, and committed to excellence - and I can guarantee an evening of laughter!”

Tickets are available at

The Greatbatch School of Music’s Lyric Theatre program continually strives to build its reputation towards musical excellence, equipping students with the tools to excel in musical theatre and opera. Past performances include Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Robert’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera; Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicci; W.A. Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne; Gaetano Donizetti’s Elixir of Love (L’ elisir d’amore); and Stephen Schwartz and John Caird’s Children of Eden.