Manitoba Opera


The Telephone

(L’Amour à trois)


A Charming Romantic Comedy

Words and music by Gian Carlo Menotti

The Story

Ben comes to visit Lucy at her place; he wants to propose to her before leaving on a trip. Despite his best efforts to get her attention, Lucy is occupied with endless phone conversations. Between her calls, when she leaves the room, Ben even tries unsuccessfully to cut the telephone cord. Not wanting to miss his train, Ben leaves without asking Lucy for her hand in marriage. He makes one last attempt, calling Lucy from a phone booth to propose. She consents, and the two join in a romantic duet over the phone, at the end of which Lucy makes sure that Ben remembers her phone number.

The Music

This opera buffa in one act is a very accessible piece about everyday life. It is lighthearted and entertaining and has been translated into several languages since its premiere in 1947.
Very melodic, the opera is a great vehicle for the soprano to showcase her coloratura and comic skills.

Sung in English with English projections | Semi-staged



La Voix Humaine

(The Human Voice)


The Painful Last Goodbye

A Theatrical Tour-de-Force of Drama, Tension, and Anguish

Composed by Francis Poulenc
Based on the play of the same name by Jean Cocteau

The Story

A young actress in 1950’s Paris is on the phone with her lover of the last five years who is marrying someone else the next day. In despair, Elle calls on every theatrical trick in the book, including hinting at suicide, as she struggles to keep him talking on the telephone in order to postpone the inevitable last goodbye. She falls into a state of depression and irreparable sadness, teetering on the edge.

The Music

This 50-minute, one-act opera is, in effect, a chamber concerto for solo voice and orchestra.
It is an intense, emotional ride, and a feat for the singer, who must pour everything she’s got into her portrayal of the tortured young woman.

Sung in French with projected English translations | Semi-staged



Opera is Calling Us Together

Listen in on a recent call with directors Jacqueline Loewen and Rob Herriot.