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La Voix Humaine

Francis Poulenc

La Voix Humaine is a highly charged one-act, one-woman opera by Poulenc based on a play of the same name written by Jean Cocteau, who directed the first production in 1959.

We watch a woman receive a phone call from her lover and eavesdrop as over the course of 50 minutes, her life unravels as he tells her he is in love with someone else and ends their relationship. Her mood moves from tenderness to neediness and anguish, brilliantly expressed by Poulenc’s music.

It’s a powerful, emotional work, with a perspective seen from just one side of a relationship that is ending in real time and the anguish and pain that brings. We feel for ‘Elle’ and go through all the emotions with her as her life falls apart in an intense but universal story of heartbreak and loss.

Cocteau’s monologue also inspired other artworks including Almodovar’s famous film ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’.

This opera will be performed by soprano Mary McCabe and pianist David Quigley.

  • This opera will be performed in French with an English translation provided with the programme.
  • Running time 50 minutes.








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Mary McCabe

David Quigley

Creative Team

Cameron Menzies

Hair and Make-Up
Nuala Campbell