Immersing myself in the The Telephone and The Old Maid and the Thief, I find the music a delightful and varied mix: from lush Puccini-like melodies in Letitia’s aria “Steal Me, Sweet Thief”, to Lucy’s burbly telephone arias, to rapid patter dialogue in both operas.
Gian Carlo Menotti has been unjustly ignored recently, in my humble opinion. (Not unlike, dare I say, Domenico Cimarosa, whose L’Italiana in Londra we recently presented as the Canadian premiere.) He knew how to tell a story and set it to music! He defied the orthodoxy of his time, namely that serious music had to sound “difficult”, and simply paired words and music in delightfully inventive ways.
Most people who know Menotti’s name today know it because of Amahl and the Night Visitors, a Christmas favourite. But he also had a real knack for comedy: the comic moments in our two operas are many and unexpected, always supported by fresh and lively music. They deserve to be experienced live, performed by a committed cast of talented emerging artists!
And now, back to helping with the props.....