Students to stage “The Old Man and the Thief” Dec. 2, 7


university opera theatre

Nov. 19, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University Opera Theatre students will present the opera "The Old Man and the Thief" at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 2 and 7, in Swope Recital Hall. The storyline explores cultural hypocrisy.

Colleen Gray, SRU professor of music who teaches vocal performance, will direct. Nanette Kaplan Solomon, professor emerita of music, will accompany on piano.

Written by Gian Carlo Menotti, the opera was commissioned by the NBC Orchestra for a 1939 radio broadcast. It remains a favorite of University opera productions, Gray said.

"Although Menotti first wrote the libretto in Italian, his native tongue, he immediately translated it into English for the premiere," she said. "Menotti subsequently wrote a revised version for staged theatrical production that was then performed in Philadelphia in 1941."

Inspired by Menotti's visit to Samuel Barber's family home in West Chester, the opera explores "Bob's" initial enchantment with polite upper middle class society until he becomes aware of intrigues, gossip, posing and secrets among the "society ladies."

Susan Dalessandro, a music therapy major from Sharon, will sing the part of "Miss Todd." The other parts are double cast. Caitlin Luck, a music/vocal performance major from Wellsburg, West Virginia and Cathryn Samantha Christou, a music major from Allison Park, play "Laetitia;" Austin Wolford, a music education major from Butler, and Michael Hale, a music education major from Mineral Point, play "Bob;" and Carlie Keffer, a music major from Dawson, and Emma Martin, a music therapy major from South Lebanon, Ohio, appear as "Miss Pinkerton."

Tickets, $3 for SRU students, and $5 for general admission, are available at the door

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |