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adapted by the composer from the play by Lucille Fletcher

Scoring

major roles: S,lyrS,M,A,Bar,lyrBar,B; minor roles: Bar,B
1(=afl).1(=corA).2(I=Ebcl,II=bcl).1-1.1.0.0-timp.perc(1):BD/lg tom-t/
sm tom-t/tgl/wdbl/susp.cym/bell/crot-3vln.2vla.vlc.db

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
25/05/1999
Sylvia & Danny Kaye Playhouse, New York, New York
Charles Meryon, director
Conductor: Richard Marshall
Company: Center for Contemporary Opera

Roles

MRS. GUGLIELMO STEVENSON Soprano (Spinto)
FIRST TELEPHONE OPERATOR Contralto
GEORGE, a contract killer Bass
CAPO, George's boss Baritone
TELEPHONE SUPERVISOR Mezzo-Soprano
Young Man, from the delicatessen Baritone
Sergeant Duffy Lyric Baritone
Second Telephone Operator Lyric Soprano
Western Union Bass
Time and Place

1940s, a living room in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan

Synopsis

Mrs. Stevenson, an invalid confined to a wheelchair, tries to call her husband on the telephone. Accidentally, the wires cross allowing her to overhear a Capo and George, a contract killer, plotting a murder for 11:15 that night, to coincide with a train passing across a bridge. After trying futilely to get an operator to trace the call, she contacts the police department. Sergeant Duffy tells her he will take care of it. She realizes that he will do nothing and becomes very anxious. She is startled when her phone rings: it is a Western Union message from her husband. He is on his way to Boston for business and will be back the following day. While speaking with the operator she hears a clicking noise on the phone line. Certain there is someone downstairs on the other line, she asks for the police department. Terrified, she thrashes about and knocks a lamp over, plunging the room into darkness. Her door opens and a figure moves toward her. It is 11:15 and the noise of the train crossing the bridge mixes with her screams. Sergeant Duffy calls. George picks up the phone and says, “Sorry, wrong number.”

Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

Society




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