Manitoba Opera

The Telephone

(L’Amour à trois)


A Charming Romantic Comedy

Words and music by Gian Carlo Menotti

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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.




Opera Plus

Understanding the Music – The Telephone and La voix humaine

Dr. Colette Simonot-Maiello, Associate Professor of Musicology, University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music, explores the scores of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone and Francis Poulenc’s La voix humaine, providing an in-depth look at how those composers bring such different stories about connection and communication to life in their music.

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Panel Discussion: Hung Up – Learning to Let Go of Damaging Relationships

Do you have an unhealthy relationship you want to change?  In La voix humaine, Elle desperately struggles with the end of her romantic relationship and her attachment to a lover who has moved on. Join our Zoom panel discussion as four specialists discuss how to disengage from unhealthy relationships (romantic or otherwise), how the attachment

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Fone Fright Film Festival

  Four suspense/horror movies, all involving the telephone in some capacity, will be available on demand to view over the Halloween weekend. (Optimized for viewing on computer, tablet, or phone). Access information will be provided to patrons who register to view by Friday, October 29.   Film Line-Up:   Scream (1996) Rating: R    Run

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Opera Primer – The Telephone & La voix humaine

Dr. Scott Miller, MO Education & Community Engagement Coordinator, will give an hour-long presentation on the composers and synopses for The Telephone and La voix humaine that will include film/video excerpts. (Will also be recorded for viewing later online) TO REGISTER: Online: Click Here Ph: 204-942-7470       E: Please Note: Patrons attending live

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Sit In On The Sitz & Conversation With The Director

Available to Donors at the Sustainer Level ($100 or higher) Join General Director & CEO Larry Desrochers in conversation about La voix humaine with fall production's director Jacqueline Loewen. Following the chat, sit in on the Sitzprobe (the first working rehearsal for the singers and orchestra together.) This is a unique opportunity to see Naomi

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Lucy (The Telephone) Lida Szkwarek

Ben (The Telephone) Johnathon Kirby

Elle (La Voix Humaine) Lara Ciekiewicz

Director Jacqueline Loewen

Conductor Naomi Woo