Voices off

I’ve seen Francis Poulenc’s monodrama La voix humaine many times and always find it troubling despite that the fact that it is often a vehicle for rather good performances.  I was intrigued then by VOICEBOX’ decision to present alongside the Jean Cocteau play on which the opera is based.  It really helped me get to grips with what I find uncomfortable about the work.

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La voix humaine

Poulenc’s La voix humaine is a monodrama for voice and rather large orchestra based on a play by Jean Cocteau.  There’s just the one character “Elle” and all we, the audience, hear, is one end of a telephone conversation between Elle and her, recently, ex-lover.  It’s a highly emotionally charged piece and not easy to pull off.  Last night, Christina Campsall and Brahm Goldhamer presented it in piano arrangement at Mazzoleni Hall with Oliver Klöter directing.  It’s a piece that needs directing too as, in a sense, not a lot happens.  It’s just a telephone call!

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