La voix humaine / Erwartung

The human voice / Expectation

17 Mar, 24 - 28 Mar, 24

FRANCIS POULENC / ARNOLD SCHÖENBERG | Musical conductor: Jérémie Rhorer | Stage direction: Christof Loy

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.


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


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).

Artistic team

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



Synopsis of La voix humaine / Erwartung

La voz humana

Tragedia lírica en un acto que reflexiona sobre la soledad, el amor no correspondido y la lucha interna de una mujer que intenta desesperadamente mantener una conversación telefónica con su amante, el cual la ha abandonado y está a punto de casarse con otra mujer. En un primer momento ella finge indiferencia y juntos rememoran los buenos momentos del pasado, pero finalmente cae en una profunda desesperación y se derrumba sobre el lecho cuando acaban de hablar.  

La espera

Ópera de un solo acto que narra el monólogo que se enfoca en las premoniciones, las dudas y esperanzas de una mujer que se adentra en el bosque en busca a su amante. Mientras atraviesa claros de luna y veredas, reflexiona sobre su relación y la pasión que les une hasta que le encuentra muerto, lo cual hace que ella experimenta una serie de emociones intensas y perturbadoras. 


Protective Friend

08 January


Supporter and Benefactor Friend

09 January


Patron friends

10 January


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11 January


Tickets on sale

12 January



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17 March 2024


Main Auditorium

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19 March 2024


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21 March 2024


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23 March 2024


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26 March 2024


Main Auditorium

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28 March 2024


Main Auditorium

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