West Australian Opera is as committed as ever to sharing the power of music, and while away from the stage the company has been working towards virtual initiatives to continue to connect with audiences. Their latest creation is a digital adaptation of the short, one-act comic opera The Telephone by Gian Carlo Menotti, starring baritone Lachlann Lawton and soprano Chelsea Burns, and is directed by Katt Osborne and designed by Tyler Hill.
Lucy and Ben are living together in their newly renovated suburban house. When Ben decides to propose to Lucy, a comedy of errors ensues as Ben fights for Lucy’s attention amidst her endless urgent and high stakes calls with all her friends. It’s 2020, and the telephone has been substituted for a glowing tablet, the Zoom app and another day in isolation.
According to WA Opera Music Director, Chris van Tuinen, “The Telephone is the story of love at social distance, the allure of digital technology and the forgotten treasure of being present in moments that truly matter. Even though this work was created in 1940s, it can be adapted to create a very relevant window to our current existence, all without touching the glorious music or melody.”
Director, Katt Osborne, said “Our contemporary digital adaptation of this opera brings to the screen the comedy and absurdism of Menotti’s The Telephone. Lucy and Ben have been stuck together in their house for some time, both sinking into their own interests. Lucy is pining for a return to her life outside and is obsessed with making video calls to find that connection. We’re using the style of Zoom calls in the visual language of the opera to tell the story of a couple who are physically together, but aren’t really listening to each other.”
The Telephone, a digital opera production by WA Opera, will be released at 7.30 pm on Thursday, July 9 on West Australian Opera’s YouTube Channel after which it will be available on demand. Click here for more info.