City Lit Opera: The Old Maid and the Thief/Orpheus & Euridice
Saturday 7th July, 7pm, St Mary's Church
Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice is justly recognised ay the opera that bridges the transition from the baroque to the classical. The famous story of the triumph of the power of love over death is originally in three acts. In this production by City Lit Opera, the numerous ballets and scenas composed for Paris are done away with (apart from the famous Dance of the Blessed Spirits) to reduce the piece to a one act opera of fifty minutes. The vocal music is exquisite and includes one of the most famous arias ever written: Che faro senza Euridice.
Originally written for NBC radio, Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera The Old Maid and the Thief exposes the gossips and secrets of a seemingly quiet town. The middle-aged spinster Miss Todd, who spends most of her days simply knitting and gossiping with fellow spinster Miss Pinkerton, has her world turned upside-down when a beggar knocks at her door one rainy afternoon. She and her maid Laetitia quickly become smitten with the handsome wanderer and are eager to shelter him. Even when they find out that he may be an escaped convict, they turn to stealing and robbery to keep him around. Having corrupted all of her morals, Miss Todd is then devastated to discover that not only does Bob not care for her, but he is in fact not the thief. Bob does, however, turn to thievery when he and Laetitia run away together with all of Miss Todd’s money when she threatens to pin her own crimes on him. A fast-paced and melodramatic opera buffa, The Old Maid and the Thief shows exactly how “the devil couldn’t do what a woman can: make a thief of an honest man!”