20th Century Opera - Post 5 - The Human Voice

Back again to look at 20th and 21st century operas I have produced, directed, or performed in in the last few years. We have mostly been looking at American Chamber Opera, because making opera accessible is an important theme in Marble City Opera's mission. This next opera is by a French composer and is an absolute favorite of mine. Composed in 1958 was Poulenc's La Voix Humaine, which we performed in english as, The Human Voice.

It is an opera I have always wanted to perform, which came to be when again I had to pivot, because the production and artist I wanted to bring to Marble City Opera for the Fall of 2017 became unavailable just months before our production date. I had already booked the venue, so, I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to fill the time slot with another one-woman opera.

I performed the role of Elle in The Human Voice in October 2017 at The Square Room directed by Ken Smith, assistant directed by Marya Barry, and accompanied by Brandon Coffer. It was programmed on a double-bill with Menotti's The Telephone (which I wrote about a few weeks ago).

Before tackling this opera in staging rehearsals I spent a week in New York coaching the role with William Vendice. The translation we used was a collaborative effort by myself and Ken with wonderful adjustments and suggestions made by Bill in my coachings. Bill truly prepared me musically for the massive task I had ahead--bringing this role to life.

Singing this role was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. It pushed me me to become a better artist, musician, and actor. I was fortunate to repeat the performance at a private party in January 2018 in someone's home. We turned their living room into Elle's home, and took opera up close in onsite locations to a new reality. I hope I have the opportunity to sing it again soon.

Here's the review by Arts Knoxville

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