This July, West Australian Opera will be presenting an adaptation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act comic opera The Telephoneonline. Lucy (soprano Chelsea Burns), and Ben (baritone Lachlann Lawton), are living together in their newly renovated house in the suburbs. When Ben decides to ask Lucy to marry him, numerous phone calls and conversations prevent him from being able to propose. In Katt Osborne’s production, audiences are thrust into the present day, and the stresses of the telephone is replaced by a demanding tablet, Zoom calls, and another day in isolation. Performed in English, The Telephonewill be led by WAO Music Director van Tuinen and designed by Tyler Hill.
Katt Osborne. Photo supplied
Have you directed Menotti’s The Telephonebefore?
I have not directed this piece before, but the first opera I directed in 2014 was Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief. I really enjoy Menotti’s comic timing so I was very pleased to have this opportunity to work with WA Opera on The Telephone.
What about its sound world appeals to you?
I love the sudden interruptions and breaks in the music with the ringing of the telephone, and how for three quarters of the piece the singers are singing at cross...