The play’s the thing: Opera in Concert’s new Cocteau-Poulenc double-bill

by | Jan 20, 2021 | Featured, News

VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert is making an exciting debut into the digital world, with its upcoming double-bill of La voix humaine (The Human Voice), presented online from February 5-19, 2021.

Poulenc’s chamber opera is a popular choice in pandemic-era opera-making. It’s slim, scored for one singer and piano; and it’s timely, telling the story of a broken relationship through the filter of a one-sided telephone call – technical glitches and all.

Yet OiC’s double-bill stands out. La voix humaine is billed alongside the 1930 play of the same name by Jean Cocteau, on which the opera is based. Alongside pianist and music director Narmina Afandiyeva, Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil sings Poulenc’s “Elle”, opposite Broadway actress and singer Chilina Kennedy as Cocteau’s “Elle”.

Opera in Concert double-bill

(l-r) Soprano Miriam Khalil (photo: Shayne Gray) and singer/actress Chilina Kennedy, featured in VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert’s double-bill of La voix humaine.

It’s a unique event, to be sure. It’s a fascinating glimpse at an opera’s source material, and a rare chance to compare the crafts of two very different types of singing actors.

Tickets are just $20, and VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert’s double-bill is available from Feb. 5-19, 2021.

Jenna Simeonov

Jenna is the editor and co-creator of Schmopera. She also writes for The Globe and Mail and Opera Canada. She’s a pianist and vocal coach, and working with singers is how she fell in love with opera.



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