The Medium


The Medium

"The Medium" is a short (one hour long) two-act dramatic opera with words and music by Gian Carlo Menotti. Commissioned by Columbia University, its first performance was there on 8 May 1946. The opera's first professional production was presented on a double bill with Menotti's "The Telephone" at the Heckscher Theater, New York City, February 18-20, 1947 by the Ballet Society. The Broadway production took place on May 1, 1947, at the Ethel Barrymore Theater with the same cast. [ [http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=1549 Internet Broadway Database: The Telephone / The Medium Production Credits ] ] In 1951, Menotti directed, with the help of filmmaker Alexander Hammid, a film version made to resemble film noir, and starring Anna Maria Alberghetti. A live television production starring Marie Powers took place on 12 December 1948 on the TV series "Studio One".

Roles

ynopsis

Act I

In the parlor of the medium, Madame Flora, Monica, her daughter, and Toby, a mute servant boy rescued from "the streets of Budapest" play dress-up. When Madame Flora, or "Baba" as they call her, arrives home drunk, she violently chastises them for not preparing for that night's seance. Soon the guests arrive, Mr. and Mrs. Gobineau, regulars, and the widow Mrs. Nolan who is attending for the first time. With Madame Flora in a trance in her chair, a fake seance is held where Mrs. Nolan speaks with what she thinks is her deceased sixteen-year-old daughter but is really Monica behind a screen. As Monica disappears, Mrs. Nolan rushes to toward the figure and is restrained by the Gobineaus. When order is restored, Mr. and Mrs. Gobineau "communicate" with their deceased two year old son Mickey who does nothing but laugh. After they say goodbye to him, Madame Flora "suddenly, with a loud gasp... clutches at her throat with both hands." She feels a phantom hand clutching her throat and is "terror-stricken." After demanding that the guests leave, she calls for Monica and tells her what she felt, eventually blaming Toby who was in the other room the whole time. In an effort to calm Baba's drunken rage toward Toby, Monica sings her the dark lullaby "O Black Swan" which is interrupted by a voice that Baba hears causing her to fly into a terrified rage at Toby for not telling her where the voice is coming from. The Curtain comes down on Monica again singing the lullaby while Baba recites her Hail Marys.

Act II

"A few days later" Toby is giving a puppet show for Monica, their mutual love becomes more obvious. When Baba comes home, she resumes her accusations on Toby, sure that he knows what went on that night. The guests again arrive, expecting another seance but are driven away by Madame Flora who tries to convince them that the whole thing was a sham by revealing all the tricks that she and Monica used. But the guests are not convinced and leave claiming that while she might have thought she was cheating them, she in fact was not. Once the guests are gone, she drives Toby out despite Monica's pleas on his behalf. With everyone gone, and Monica in her room, Baba pours herself another drink and questions her own sanity, becoming wild with drink and eventually passing out. Once she has fallen asleep, Toby sneaks back in and tries to get into Monica's room, but finds it locked and eventually goes to the trunk to find his tambourine. While searching, he knocks the lid of the trunk down waking Baba. Toby quickly hides in the puppet theater. As Baba tries to see where the noise came from and fetches a revolver from a drawer in the table. "Hysterically" she shouts out "Who is it? Speak or I'll Shoot!" and the puppet theater curtain moves. "Baba screams and fires at it several times." As Toby's bloody body collapses grasping the curtain, Baba says "I've killed the ghost! I've killed the ghost!" Monica, hearing the gunshots, enters, sees Toby's lifeless body and runs for help. As the final curtain falls "very slowly" Baba asks "in a hoarse whisper," "Was it you?"

Noted Arias

*"Monica's Waltz" (Monica)
*"O Black Swan" (Monica)

External links

* [http://www.usopera.com/operas/medium.html Synopsis and performance history] from USOpera.com
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043794/ "The Medium" (1951) at IMDB]
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0712518/ "The Medium" (1948) at IMDB]

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Medium — Gian Carlo Menotti Fotografie von Carl van Vechten, aus der Van Vechten Collection der Library of Congress Das Medium (engl. The Medium) ist eine Oper in 2 Akten von Gian Carlo Menotti. Das Libretto wurde vom Kom …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The medium is the message — is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. Contents 1 Publications 2 Social implications 3… …   Wikipedia

  • The Medium Is the Massage — The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects   The cover …   Wikipedia

  • The Medium (1992 film) — The Medium Directed by Arthur Smith Produced by Errol Pang Derrol Stepenny Productions Written by Margaret Chan Rani Moorthy Starring …   Wikipedia

  • The Medium Wave Band — The Medium Wave Band, was a Scottish folk rock band that started in the 1970s. The band was founded by Erne Parkin (singer), Les Cockburn (fiddler/mandolinist), Steve Moss (guitarist) and Keyboardist Richard Chernes (of RunRig fame).After much… …   Wikipedia

  • The Medium is the Massage — Infobox Book name = The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects title orig = translator = image caption= The cover of the first UK edition, published by Penguin Books (1967). author = Marshall McLuhan illustrator = Quentin Fiore cover… …   Wikipedia

  • The Medium (Rutgers) — Infobox Newspaper name = The Medium type = Weekly student paper format = Paper foundation = 1970 headquarters = Piscataway, NJ 08901 website = [http://www.themedium.net/ http://www.themedium.net/] The Medium is a student run weekly entertainment… …   Wikipedia

  • Relationship of the Medium to the Performance, Table — ▪ Table medium nature of presentation type of material rostrum visible, audible per oratory, preaching, formance by a single recital; the speech, person sermon, song, reading, monologue, monodrama live theatre; visible, audible per drama, opera,… …   Universalium

  • in the medium term — • in the long term • in the short term • in the medium term thinking, looking or planning from now into the future …   Idioms and examples

  • through the medium of — index hereby, thereby Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.