Opera Scotland

Telephone The Telephone; or L' Amour à trois


Gian Carlo Menotti (born Cadegliano, 7 July 1911; died Monte Carlo, 1 February 2007)


The Composer





First Performance: New York (Heckschner Theater), 18 February 1947.

First Performance in the UK: London (Aldwych Theatre), 29 April 1948.

First Performance in Scotland: To be confirmed.

Scottish Opera première: 1979-80.



Menotti studied at the Milan Conservatory from the age of thirteen, and lived in Italy until recommended by Toscanini to study at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. There followed a lengthy career as America's most commercially successful composer, particularly of opera. He established the Spoleto Festival in Umbria, and an American spin-off in Charleston. In later life he bought a mansion a few miles east of Edinburgh, and spent much of his time during his last twenty-five years living there. In spite of that, his works have never become established as standard repertoire in Britain the way they have in the USA. The Telephone is an extremely light piece, barely twenty minutes long, composed to precede performances of The Medium, which had received its premiere a few months earlier.



Lucy (soprano)

Ben (baritone)


Plot Summary

Lucy spends most of her leisure time talking to friends on the telephone. Ben wishes to propose to her, but is unable to attract her attention. He finds the only solution is to go out and phone her up, delivering his proposal in this remote fashion.

The Cast


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