Gian Carlo Menotti

The Telephone

contemporary opera 10

Comic opera in one act, in Hungarian, with Hungarian and English surtitles

In the entire history of men asking women to marry them, anything that could go wrong has gone wrong at one time or another: the parents don't consent, the bride is in love with someone else, or perhaps the groom is, somebody dies, a war breaks out – the list goes on and on. An American fellow named Ben also runs into a hurdle as he attempts to pop the question. While his is not quite as dramatic as the ones enumerated above, those whose partners in life happen to be addicted to their telephones shouldn't be surprised by what it is. L’amour à trois.

By arrangement with G. Schirmer, INC. publisher and copyright owner.

THE CRITICS RESPOND:

“This two-person piece augmented by a few dancers and a walking telephone is quite a lot of fun, and in the era of the smart phone actually makes for very timely entertainment.” (Wolfgang Kutzschbach, Das Opernglas)

Events

Premiere: Sept. 21, 2013

Synopsis

Before leaving on a journey, Ben is paying a visit to Lucy, the object of his affection, and he's secretly got a big plan in the works: he's going to ask for the girl's hand in marriage. Whenever he gets to the big moment, however, the telephone rings, leading to a lengthy session of chattering on the part of his beloved. Out of desperation, Ben even attempts to sever the telephone cord, but in the end still doesn't manage to ask the momentous question: he has to leave in order to catch his train. Shortly after he departs, Lucy's telephone rings again. It's Ben. By calling from a telephone booth, he's finally able to ask Lucy to marry him, and she happily agrees. A love duet ensues – via telephone.

Reviews

This two-person piece augmented by a few dancers and a walking telephone is quite a lot of fun, and in the era of the smart phone actually makes for very timely entertainment.” (Wolfgang Kutzschbach, Das Opernglas)