This production is a real musical event. For the first time, The Human Voice, based on a text by Jean Cocteau, will be performed at the Teatro Real. It is coupled with Erwartung, with stage direction by Christof Loy (Capriccio, Rusalka, Arabella). The delicate but, at the same time, visceral approach to these female roles will be a challenge in every way for both women in two desperate situations, led by Ermonela Jago and Mali Byström.
In this double bill of monodramas, there are reasons to consider Poulenc and Schoenberg’s portraits of their women as morbid. No one can negate, however, that they constitute superlative vehicles for the dramatic talents of the protagonists. With a libretto by Jean Cocteau and premiering in 1959, La voix humaine by Poulenc takes place around a telephone, in what could be considered an update on the myth of the abandoned woman –Medea– via the dressing room of Christian Dior.
Erwartung is composed on a libretto by Marie Pappenheim: writer, socialist and a pioneer in sexual education; as well as one of the first women to receive a doctorate from the University of Vienna. With a protagonist who personifies herself as the transfigured Isolde, the necrophilia Salome and the paranoid Elektra, Erwartung is an imposing psychological monodrama: the death of the lover unleashes a whirlwind of emotions –anger, desire, anguish, desolation– which, at moments, becomes a brutal reckoning with the deceased and with the hypocritical system of bourgeois values.
LA VOIX HUMAINE
Lyric tragedy in one act
Music by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Libretto by Jean Cocteau
First performed at the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart) in Paris on 6 February 1959
Premiere at the Teatro Real
ERWARTUNG OP. 17
Monodrama in one act
Music by Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
Libretto by Marie PappMúsica de Arnenheim
Premiere at Neues Deutsches Theater of Praga, within the framework of the International Gesellschaft fur Neue Musik on 6 June 1924
Stage premiere at the Teatro Real
New production of the Teatro Real, in co-production with the Teatr Wiekl in Warsaw (Polish National Opera).
Musical conductor: Jérémie Rhorer
Stage direction: Christof Loy
Set design: Christof Loy y Guadalupe Holguera
Costumes: Barbara Drosihn
Lighting: Fabrice Kebour
La voix humaine
Woman: Ermonela Jaho
Woman: Malin Byström
Orchestra of the Teatro Real
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Arnold Schoenberg