La voix humaine is a dialogue, but one in which the audience only ever hears one voice, as a woman and her lover agree to part during a single telephone conversation. Poulenc, in his most famous operatic work, creates a master piece out of the woman’s growing realisation that it is all over, combined with her darkly comic frustrations with the telephone as a means of communication. While the central character of this piece is on the receiving end of a highly charged emotional break-up, she is neither passive nor pliant. While the man may have the upper hand in the romance, the strength of character, humanity and humour is definitely with the woman.
Barber Studio. Part of Connecting Voices