Opera Academy of California
Yefim Maizel, Director
Francis Poulenc La Voix humaine
Maurice Ravel L’Heure Espagnole
La Voix humaine, an unusual work subtitled “Lyric Tragedy”, was created ten years after Dialogues of the Carmelites. Francis Poulenc composed this operatic monologue for Denise Duval, his favorite singer, who created the role under the direction of Georges Prêtre, with staging and scenery by Jean Cocteau, who also wrote the libretto. Putting to music his friend Cocteau’s monodrama, composer creates an extraordinary tour de force. L’heure espagnole , a sex farce about a lusty Spanish woman juggling lovers while her husband is preoccupied with clockwork mechanisms, evokes a Spanish flavour through Ravel’s use of native dance forms including the jota, the habañera and the malagueña .