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The Old Maid and the Thief

The Old Maid and the Thief

Opera


Writer:
  • opera
  • radio
  • menotti
  • crime
  • morality
  • one-act
  • small-town
  • opera buffa


Overview


Synopsis

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!”


Characters

Female

Lead

Mezzo-Soprano

Female

Lead

Soprano

Male

Supporting

Baritone



Show Information

Libretto:
Category
Opera
Number of Acts:
1 Act
First Produced:
1939
Genres
Comedy
Settings
Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
a small town, contemporary (1930s)
Cast Size
small
Orchestra Size
Small
Dancing
None
Ideal For
chamber opera, black box, college, regional
Casting Notes:
Mostly female cast
Includes adult, young adult characters
Tags:
  • opera
  • radio
  • menotti
  • crime
  • morality
  • one-act
  • small-town
  • opera buffa

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