UTSA Lyric Theatre presents Menotti operas

By Ashley Harris
Public Affairs Specialist

(Feb. 28, 2007)--The UTSA Lyric Theatre will present two one-act operas by Gian Carlo Menotti in "Two by Menotti" at 7:30 p.m., March 2-3, and 3 p.m., March 4 in the Buena Vista Theatre at the Downtown Campus.

The performances of "The Old Maid and the Thief" and "The Medium" are dedicated to the composer who died this month.

Born in Italy, Menotti wrote his first opera at age 11. He and his family immigrated to the United States shortly after the death of his father, and he continued his studies at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music. Considered the most popular and prolific composer of his time, Menotti was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize, a Drama Critics Circle Award and two commissions.

The UTSA Lyric Theatre is a student ensemble directed by UTSA Associate Professor William McCrary. Music department chair Eugene Dowdy will conduct the UTSA Orchestra for "The Old Maid and the Thief" and faculty member Terrence Frazor will conduct "The Medium."

"The Old Maid and the Thief" is a cautionary tale of morals and feminine power used for ill. Menotti inspiration for the story after visiting the family of a friend in a small town filled with secrets. The role of Miss Pinkerton will be played by Shannon Courtaway, Miss Todd by Amber Moon, Bob the Thief by Jacob Valadez and Latitia the servant by Krista Boone.

Full of psychological twists and turns, "The Medium" revolves around Madame Flora played by Carrie Coultas, who holds fake séances in order to take financial advantage of grieving parents. Menotti described the opera as the tragedy of a woman caught between two worlds -- a world of reality, which she cannot wholly comprehend, and a super-natural world in which she cannot believe. Jillian Cox will play the role of Monica and Rick Sanchez will play Toby the mute.

Tickets are $15 and $10 for seniors, military and students with ID. Tickets will be available at the door or in advance by calling (210) 458-5685.

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