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Light Opera of New Jersey opens their season of LOVE and OBSESSION

"There's a thief in town!" Credits: Lauran Corson
"Old Maid and the Thief" Credits: Lauran Corson
Chelsea Friedlander and Matthew Ciuffitelli star as cell phone obsessed lovers in Menotti's comic Opera, "The Telephone". Produced by Light Opera of NJ, Nov. 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. in Basking Ridge. Credits: Lauran Corson

In a special double billing, Light Opera of New Jersey, based in Basking Ridge, presents Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone (L’Amour à Trois) and The Old Maid and the Thief directed by Joanna Hoty Russell (of Berkeley Heights) and Jamie Baer Peterson (of New Providence) with musical direction by Lois Buesser (of Boonton),. November 4 and 5, 2016 at 8 pm at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 140 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge 07920. Tickets at or by calling 908-655-6023.  

Additional Information:

Light Opera of New Jersey kicks off its season of Love & Obsession with a special double billing of Gian Carlo Menotti’s two timeless opera buffas The Telephone (L’Amour à Trois) and The Old Maid and the Thief, directed by Joanna Hoty Russell and Jamie Baer Peterson. LONJ audiences greatly enjoyed Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors last season, and LONJ continues to explore this beloved Italian-American composer’s work this fall.

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The Telephone is a charming piece where Ben drops by unexpectedly on his social-media-addicted girlfriend Lucy. He can only stay a short while before leaving on a trip, and has planned to propose to Lucy on this visit. Lucy’s phone begins to ring off the hook, and she refuses to ignore it. Will Ben be able to propose in time? The Telephone is smartly paired with The Old Maid and The Thief, which Menotti composed with equal humor and wit. The Old Maid is a unique piece as it was originally commissioned by the National Broadcasting Company to be the first opera composed for radio. The old maid, Miss Todd, lives with her maid Laetitia. They are both very single and are growing tired of visits from their busybody neighbor Miss Pinkerton. When a handsome man comes knocking at the door seeking shelter from the rain, Miss Todd and Laetitia become determined to make him stay with them as long as possible.  When Miss Pinkerton arrives in panic with the evening news that a thief has escaped from prison and is hiding in town, Miss Todd and Laetitia must decide between turning in their guest or trying to hide him while they continue to pursue him. Both operas are presented in English with orchestra and will be performed November 4 and 5, 2016 at 8 pm at St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Basking Ridge, NJ.

LONJ is proud to announce the talented cast of this production! Chelsea Friedlander (Port Murray, NJ) returns to our stage as Lucy, and was last seen in LONJ’s production of Orpheus in the Underworld. Matthew Ciuffitelli (Sussex, NJ), who recently played John Jasper in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, joins us again this season to play both Ben and Bob. Samantha Dango (Cranford, NJ) will be playing Laetitia, and she charmed audiences last spring as Norina in Don Pasquale. Rounding out the cast are Carolyn Aguirre in her LONJ premiere performance as Miss Todd and Barbara Nowicki as Miss Pinkerton.

Chelsea Friedlander

Matthew Ciuffitelli

Samantha Dango

Carolyn Aguirre

Barbara Nowicki




Miss Todd

Miss Pinkerton


LONJ is a premier operetta, opera, and musical theater company founded in 1995 by William Corson, executive producer, and Lauran Corson, artistic director. To learn more about upcoming productions, visit Become a season subscriber! See all three productions and save 15% off each seat. Subscribers receive advance seat selection plus a discount on LONJ merchandise! Subscribe by October 3rd, 2016 to ensure the best seats. Learn more at

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