The Human Voice Interpreting The Human Voice: from Jean Cocteau to Francis Poulenc
Hovering between hope and devastation, a woman lives over the phone the last moments of her disastrous relationship with her partner. Jean Cocteau’s one-act play La voix humaine (1930) is a confession-like monologue with melodramatic elements, which have led other human voices, from Poulenc to Almodóvar, to create works that made these elements resonate in younger delusional artistic personas.
Based on Cocteau’s play, Poulenc’s musical work of the same name (1958) is a one-act lyrical drama for soprano and orchestra. Originally written for voice and piano, it has by now been established as one of the most imposing works in the international repertoire of 20th-century musical theatre. The Human Voice is presented in two interpretive versions, presented one after the other in a single performance, in which Cocteau’s dramaturgy is followed by Poulenc’s musical dramaturgy, with both of them highlighting the two theatrical genres and the way they complement each other. The acclaimed soprano Maria Kokka embodies the protagonist’s tragic figure in both versions. For her performance in the theatrical version, she was awarded the first prize at the 2nd AnasaArt Theatre Monologue Festival at the Paramythia Theatre (June 2019).
Set & costume designer: Eleni Michali
Lighting Design:Dimitris Paradisis
- Jean Cocteau: La voix humaine
Direction: Eleni Micheli
Translation: Marios Ploritis
- Francis Poulenc: La voix humaine
Music Supervisor: Dimitris Giakas
Stage Direction: Maria Kokka