UE Opera – Spring Production – Mostly Menotti

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

7:30 p.m.

Krannert Fine Arts Building, Wheeler Concert Hall, University of Evansville Campus

Audience: UE Campus and Evansville Community

Tickets are $10 for the public.  Tickets for UE students, staff, and faculty are free.

UE Opera’s spring production, Mostly Menotti, is a presentation of three one-act American operas from the middle of the 20th century.  Two of the three operas were composed by Gian Carlo Menotti with Menotti providing the libretto for all three operas.

The evening opens with Menotti’s comic opera, The Telephone, or L’amour à trois.  Ben arrives at the apartment of Lucy with the sole intent of proposing.  His attempts to ask Lucy are continually thwarted by Lucy’s long conversations on the phone.  In a stroke of brilliance, Ben realizes the only way to get Lucy’s attention is to propose over the phone.  The opera ends with a romantic duet and Lucy’s reminder that Ben remember her phone number.

Much darker in nature is Barber’s A Hand of Bridge (with a libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti).  In this opera, two married couples play a game of bridge.  Told through a series of arias, each character reveals to the audience his/her own thoughts and desires.

The final opera of the evening is Menotti’s self-described “grotesque opera in 14 scenes” The Old Maid and the Thief.  Originally a radio play, The Old Maid and the Thief centers around the spinster Miss Todd and her maid Laetitia.  The arrival of a beggar, Bob, upends the respectable life of Miss Todd as she resorts to increasingly desperate measures to keep him happy including raiding a liquor store.

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