The Telephone is a comic opera in one act with words and music by Gian-Carlo Menotti.
The original text
A very frivolous 30-minute farce, The Telephone presents a fresh look at the eternal love triangle, except the third side is not human but a telephone. Lucy is comfortably draped upon a divan in the shape of a cradle phone as the curtain rises. Beno is involved in an earnest and pleading conversation with her which might just end with a marriage proposal. When the telephone rings and with all the gossiping, Lucy soon forgets about Beno. After the conversation finally ended, Beno tried to resume his composure, but the phone rang once again. The plot becomes repetitive until, in desperation, Beno, slips away to the corner phone booth, calls Lucy and wins her love as the curtain closes.
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
The Federation of Music Societies (Eastern Cape) by arrangement with the University of Cape Town, presented Puccini’s Sister Angelica in Port Elizabeth from April 28 till May 1, 1952, in Kingwilliamstown on May 3, 1952, in Umtata on May 5, 1952, Queenstown from May 6 – 8, 1952, and Grahamstown on May 10, 1952.
Theatre programme, 1952.
Go to ESAT Bibliography
Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays
Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays
Return to PLAYS III: Collections
Return to South African Festivals and Competitions
Return to The ESAT Entries
Return to Main Page