“The Telephone”, “The Medium” / Gian Carlo Menotti

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Basen Artystyczny Stage

Gian Carlo Menotti

The Telephone • The Medium


presented under license from G. Schirmer Inc. and Associated Music Publishers, copyright owners

Libretto | Gian Carlo Menotti
Translation | Michał Wojnarowski

PREMIERE 10’th March 2023

Music director/conductor: Kuba Wnuk
Director: Jakub Przebindowski
Set designer: Witold Stefaniak
Multimedia: Hektor Werios
Costume designer: Tomasz Ossoliński


The Telephone

LUCY: Aleksandra Borkiewicz-Cłapińska / Katarzyna Drelich
BEN: Damian Wilma / Artur Janda


The Medium

BABA: Roksana Wardenga
MONICA: Natalia Rubiś / Anna Farysej
TOBY: Dominik Mironiuk
MS GOBINEAU: Aleksandra Borkiewicz-Cłapińska / Katarzyna Drelich
MR GOBINEAU: Damian Wilma / Artur Janda
MS NOLAN: Monika Łopuszyńska / Sylwia Pietrzak

flute: Anita Kander-Marchewka
oboe: Mateusz Żurawski
clarinet: Jerzy Matysiak
basson: Małgorzata Wygoda
horn: Konrad Gołda
trumpet: Mikhail Bachyla
violin: Katarzyna Gluza, Jacek Wachnik
violin: Magdalena Gonos
cello: Karol Wachnik
bass: Mateusz Wadowski
percussion: Robin Błaszkiewicz
piano: Olha Bilas, Marta Kostrych

Accompanist: Marta Kostrych / Olha Bilas

The Telephone

opera buffa

Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera “The Telephone” provides an excellent opportunity to explore the phenomena of interpersonal communication in the modern world. Technological progress has introduced new and unique opportunities, such as the Internet, mobile phones, and social media, which have significantly impacted our relationships, redefining the way we communicate and creating new cultural codes. Technology is replacing many existing social forms. We are witnessing changes brought about by modern communication tools, which are publicly available and used by almost all age groups. These tools make everyday life easier but also teach assertiveness and a lack of empathy.

The staging of the opera “The Telephone” at the Basen Artystyczny Stage of the Warszawska Opera Kameralna will attempt to address these new phenomena. This performance, in the buffo genre, will become a spectacle bordering on performance art, using modern staging techniques such as video-art projections, sound effects imitating mobile phone transmissions, the ability to record sound via a mobile phone, and audience interaction.

This performance targets a wide audience, with particular emphasis on young people, but also on anyone who uses mobile phones – essentially everyone. In a humorous yet reflective manner, we aim to consider the extent to which the technological revolution, created with human freedom and independence in mind, has become a tool of addiction and partial or complete enslavement of modern individuals.

The novelty of this performance will be complemented by set design and costumes reflecting urban lifestyles, urban murals, street art, and pop art. Set in 2023, it portrays a world where reality blends with fantasy, using wit, quotes from iconic film styles, and comic books. In this context, the story of a man who wants to propose to his beloved woman loses its trivial character, becoming a perfect narrative about human dependence on technology.

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The Medium

opera in II acts

A moving chamber opera, the theme and content of which fits perfectly into the cinema noir trend. The staging of the opera “The Medium” will be based on all the elements used in cinema of 1940s and 1950s. Strong contrasts of light and shadow, sensual, elegant costumes, spiritualistic séances, night shots in aesthetics – all this conquers the atmosphere like from Alfred Hitchcock’s films, provoking questions about the eternal need of man, which is to seek contact with the surreal world, looking for guidance in magic, tarot, supernatural signs and the limits of this search. Fraud, confusion, belief in the impossible and non-existent – these are the main staging tracks of the opera “The Medium” at the Basen Artystyczny Stage of  the Warszawska Opera Kameralna. You don’t play with love, and you must not play with the afterlife either.

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