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Two one-act operas by Gian Carlo Menotti will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday [NOV. 20-21] by East Central University's Music Department.

"The Old Maid and the Thief," a comic opera, and "The Medium, a tragedy, will be performed in the Dorothy Summers Theatre by an ensemble cast of Tim Long, Caitlin Gray, Casey Taylor, Aaron Sadler, Leah Creason, Jacob Stavens, Sheena Stallings, Christina Kushnick and Michelle Williams.

"The Old Maid" is a comic opera about a vagabond who comes to the door of Miss Todd, a prominent figure in her small community.

"Miss Todd and Laetitia both become immediately enamored of Bob (the vagabond) and invite him to stay for a while," said Dr. Melody Baggech, assistant professor of music and the director of the operas.

When Miss Pinkerton, the town gossip, enters with news of a thief, Miss Todd and Laetitia become certain that it is Bob. Rather than put the handsome man back out on the street, they decide to harbor him for as long as they can keep him there.

"They feed him, give him money and even rob a liquor store for him. In the end, they find out that he is indeed not the thief. However by this time, the police are already looking for him. While Miss Todd is out of the house, Laetitia and Bob rob her, steal her car and run off together."

In "The Medium," Madame Flora (Baba), her daughter Monica and Toby (a mute) hold séances for people wanting to communicate with deceased relatives. Their house is rigged with all sorts of things to make Baba's customers think they are seeing and hearing ghosts.

One evening at a séance, Baba feels a hand touch her throat. She tries to convince herself that it was Toby, but is never quite certain.

"Later," Baggech said, "Baba hears a voice like Monica's when Monica is not there. Baba asks Toby repeatedly if it was he who touched her throat that night. When Toby does not answer, she becomes violent, beating and eventually shooting and killing him. The opera ends with an insane Mme. Flora crouched over Toby's body asking, 'Was it you?'"

Tickets are $5 at the door. ECU students will be admitted free.

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