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La Voix Humaine (Poulenc)
Poulenc’s final opera, written for the extraordinary soprano Denise Duval, is based on Jean Cocteau’s play. The opera (45 minutes) is the last conversation between a young woman and her lover, who is abandoning her. Through her little lies, and his thunderous lies, the truth of their relationship becomes clear. It is an overwhelming account of love, and love’s ending. Soprano Paula Sides is ‘the human voice’, partnered by Sergey Rybin on the piano and directed by James Conway.
A Waterbird Talk (Argento)
In the course of an illustrated lecture on the mating habits of water fowl, an ornithologist (baritone Julien van Mellaerts) describes his oppressive marriage. Each song-like section of the drama describes a different species, and onto each he projects his own feelings – to the evident concern of his wife in the audience, whose bird-like coughs interrupt his lyric digressions. Light hearted and melancholy in equal measure, it is an ideal complement to La Voix Humaine.
Susan Bickley, widely regarded as one of the most accomplished mezzo-sopranos of her generation, makes her directorial debut, and the pianist is Ella O’Neill. Sung in English. Adapted by Dominick Argento from the On the Harmfulness of Tobacco by Anton Chekov and The Birds of America by J. J. Audobon. A contemporary opera, premiered in 1977.
English Touring Opera (ETO)
English Touring Opera is the leading touring opera company in the UK. ETO travels to more regions and to more venues than any other English opera company, touring annually to around 55 venues and presenting as many as 110 performances per year. Their aim is to offer opera to everyone, with a varied repertoire of high-quality professional productions featuring some of the finest talent in opera. ETO are an Olivier Award winning company, having won the Outstanding Achievement in Opera Award at thE 2014 ceremony.
See English Touring Opera (ETO) tour dates
Lighthouse (Poole Arts Centre)
- 21 Kingland Road
- BH15 1UG