An instrument, and an opera, taken for granted

The word “opera” doesn’t often evoke images of a one-person show, although several respected works could fit that description. Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) is also not immediately known for his operatic work, although he wrote three works that still beloved, performed and manage to surprise again and again, as if they’re heard for the first time.

This Friday evening offers a chance to hear one of the three: La Voix humaine, a forty-minute gem for soprano and (originally) orchestra, written in 1958, that puts voice and text in the spotlight, via one character, called simply “Elle”.  Written as a telephone-centered monodrama by Jean Cocteau thirty years earlier, the one-act opera seemed especially modern and daring when it first premiered, yet is now most often presented as a period piece.  This new production pairs soprano Amanda Squitieri with pianist Mark Robson, in the two-person instrumentation that has become popular for its intimacy and versatility.  Staged at Pasadena’s Boston Court as a sort of multi-faceted homage to several of the 20th century’s screen sirens and their monumental love affairs, director David Bridel‘s very Hollywood take on an increasingly intriguing (and more often performed) treasure sounds like a special treat of its own.

The hitch:  according to the website, the show is sold out, but well worth pointing to, anyway.  Ask around, and see if you can get in with a friend.  If you do, send us your thoughts…

La Voix Humaine - Poulenc at Boston Court

La Voix Humaine

Friday, October 16  — 8pm 

Boston Court Performing Arts Center
70 North Mentor Avenue
Pasadena, CA

Event details

 

This feature original appeared in Next 7 — Vocal events through 10/22/15

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