The Old Maid And The Thief

oldmaid by Gian-Carlo Menotti, Presented by Diva Lounge Productions



Miss Todd - Jessica Lane

Laetitia - Sonja Gustafson

Bob - David Diston

Miss Pinkerton - Taylor Robertson

Radio Announcer - Paul Grambo

with Ian Robertson, pianist


Showtimes & Venue Information


"The Devil couldn't do what a woman can - make a thief out of an honest man". Or is it the other way around? An old spinster takes a handsome drifter into her home and her infatuation drives her to perform despicable acts that may be her ruin!




David is a third year undergraduate student at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, currently studying under Dr. Sophie Roland. Raised in Niagara Falls, David was introduced to classical music at an early age through involvement in numerous choirs, competitions and festivals throughout the Niagara Region. Though music has always been a substantial component of David’s life, he first completed an Honors Bachelor of Health Sciences degree with concentrations in Biology, and Economics from Brock University before pursuing serious musical studies at UWO. David recently debuted his first principle operatic role as Count Almaviva in UWOpera’s February 2011 production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Past operatic performances have included UWO Opera Galas, and most recently the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy Gala production. David’s other recent performances including his first full-length solo recital at UWO, and a performance of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes with Choralis Camerata. Dave is also looking forward to intensive opera study this summer at the Accedemia Europea dell’Opera with the Lucca Conservatory in Milan and Tuscany Italy.


paul20grambo20-20headshot20editOriginally from Brandon, Manitoba, Paul Grambo now teaches and performs out of London, Ontario. Some of his recent performances include the Elora Festival as a member of the Festival Singers, "Jazz on Broadway" with pianist Stephen Holowitz and soprano Amber Cunningham, the insistent Mr. Bluff in Mozart's The Impresario, Melchior is Giancarlo Menotti's Christmas opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Remembrance Day production of Hearts Made Great (Victor Wise) with Orchestra London, Pacific Opera Victoria's production of Puccini's Tosca (Scarrione), and Mozart's Cosi fan tutte (Guglielmo) with UWOpera. On the lighter side, Paul had the opportunity to showcase his comic timing, stagecraft and character acting skills in Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow (Njegus), Giancarlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitor (The Page), and the children's favourite Little Red Riding Hood (The Big Bad Wolf) by Seymour Barab, all with UWOpera. Previously, as a member of Edmonton Opera, he performed in Puccini's Turandot and in Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific. Mr. Grambo has a Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University and a Masters of Music degree in Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario. As a teacher, Paul maintains a private studio and conducts workshops for choirs in London around south western Ontario.


sonjaclassicalheadshotSonja is an accomplished performer and regular fixture on the London and area music scene. Whether performing in a jazz or classical vein, Sonja is equally at home on the stage. She has been the recipient of many awards for her talents, including both jazz and classical vocalist categories at the London Music Awards and the Jack Richardson Awards respectively. Sonja has appeared as a featured soloist with Orchestra London, The Victoria Symphony, The Vancouver Island Symphony and the International Symphony Orchestra. Some of her operatic roles include Valencienne in the Merry Widow, Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, Countess/Page in Rigoletto, Monica in The Medium, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Miss Silverpeal in the Impresario, and The Widow in The Boor. Some may recognize Sonja from her appearance on Bravo television's Gemini Award – winning Bathroom Divas, in which she was one of 6 finalists chosen from across Canada to participate in a 3-week opera Bootcamp. As a jazz songstress, Sonja keeps a busy schedule of performances for corporate events, fundraisers, concert series, and festivals. Her debut jazz CD has received airplay on CBC radio and she released a double Christmas album just last winter. As founder of Diva Lounge Productions, Sonja is thrilled to be back at the Fringe, producing and performing in The Old Maid And The Thief!


jessica-laneJessica Lane is a young up and coming mezzo in the Greater Toronto Area. Jessica has just finished her first year of her Master's degree at the University of Western Ontario under the tutelage of Anita Krause-Wiebe. No stranger to the stage, she has recently performed the roles of Marcellina in Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro", Romeo in Bellini's "I Capuleti e i Montecchi", Annina in Verdi's "La Traviata", Vera Boronel in Menotti's "The Consul", Mother in Pacific Opera's "Madama Butterfly", Mrs. Hildebrand in Weill's "Street Scene" and will be performing the role of Nicklausse in Halifax Summer Opera Workshop's production of "Les Contes d'Hoffman," as well as Bloody Mary in UWOpera's fall production of "South Pacific". Jessica has a passion for performing and is excited to share her love of music and the stage with audiences world wide. She is honoured to be performing the role of Miss Todd in Diva Lounge Productions "The Old Maid in the Thief" at the London Fringe Festival!




Ian Robertson is a freelance pianist living in London, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Masters of Music in Performance at UWO, specializing in historical performance practice. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician locally in southern Ontario, and the Maritimes, the United States, Holland, Belgium, and Dubai. In addition to performing with Diva Lounge Productions as pianist and the title role in their adaption of Mozart's "The Impresario", he has also acted as music director for "Nine", "Annie Warbucks", and "The Drowsy Chaperone" for Original Kids Theatre Company.





taylor-robertsonLyric Soprano Taylor Robertson made her debut with the Opera Hamilton chorus as the 2nd flower girl Le Nozze di Figaro in October 2010. Last season, she performed the role of Madam Goldentrill (The Impresario) with Diva Lounge Productions, and before that, her studies at University of Western Ontario gave her the opportunity to perform the title role of Suor Angelica, as well as Valiencenne (The Merry Widow). Taylor's other opera credits include many small roles in OperaNUOVA's production of Street Scene, including Salvation Army Girl #1, Jenny Hildebrand, Nurse Maid #2, and the Voice of Mrs. Buchannan, as well as Erste Dame (die Zauberflöte), and Cousin Hebe (HMS Pinafore) with the University of Lethbridge. Taylor's Oratorio credits include Saint Saëns Christmas Oratorio and Handle's Messiah. Taylor holds a Master's of Music from the University of Western Ontario, and has furthered her studies at OperaNUOVA, the Victoria Summer Vocal Academy, and the St. Andrews Summer Opera Workshop.


Production Photos




Reviews & Articles

Review: Gustafson-Menotti combo puts high spirits in classics

Once again, Sonja Gustafson has her winning way with a Menotti mini-opera...

- James Reaney, London Free Press

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