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Opera returns to Tulane

February 26, 2018 3:00 PM
 | 
Arynne Fannin newwave@tulane.edu
  

Tulane students will perform a production of Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti's "The Old Maid and the Thief" in March. Menotti is pictured here circa 1944. (Photo from the Carl Van Vechten Collection, Library of Congress)

 

For the first time since the 1980s, the Newcomb Department of Music in the Tulane School of Liberal Arts will present a student production of The Old Maid and the Thief, an opera-comedy by Gian Carlo Menotti, on March 8 and 10 on the uptown campus. 

The project is a collaborative effort of students and faculty from the Newcomb Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Through double-casting — having two students cast for each role — more students will get the experience of performing in an opera production.

“It’s great to be able to share this art form with [students] and to see them develop vocally and dramatically.”

Amy Pfrimmer

“The student actors are diverse in terms of majors and performance experience, but for all of them, this is their first role in an opera,” said director Amy Pfrimmer. “It’s great to be able to share this art form with them and to see them develop vocally and dramatically.”

Student opera at Tulane dates back to the 1920s with productions of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan works.

From 1953 to 1985, a course titled Opera Workshop was available to students. That course has since been resurrected at Tulane, giving way to productions like the The Old Maid and the Thief.

The most recent opera concert at Tulane was presented through a version of Dido and Aeneas in 2004. The Old Maid and the Thief, however, marks the return of costumes, sets and an all-student cast. Pfrimmer hopes productions like this will once again become a recurring offer.

“This is something Tulane used to be known for,” said Pfrimmer. “It would be wonderful to engage future students in this tradition.”

The Old Maid and the Thief runs March 8 and 10 with shows at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Dixon Annex Recital Hall. General admission is $10, and admission is free with a Tulane Splash Card.