La voix humaine

Francis Poulenc

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A woman is sprawled alone on her bed.

She gets up, ready to leave, when the phone rings. It’s her ex-lover. Over the course of the next 40 minutes we hear one side of an increasingly desperate conversation in which the woman tries anything to win him back. But it’s no use – she can’t get through to him. He hangs up, and she’s left whispering ‘Je t’aime’ to nobody…

Translating to ‘the human voice’, La voix humaine is a devastating short opera exploring the pain and fear of rejection in the rawest fashion. Through the lone voice of the woman, Poulenc expresses the full range of human emotion and envelops her voice in music of caressing warmth and intimacy. Directed by Sameena Hussain, Opera North soprano Gillene Butterfield (Street Scene) brings to life this harrowing portrayal of a relationship’s breakdown.

This powerful one-woman performance will be sung in English with piano accompaniment, in the intimate rehearsal setting of the Barber Studio.

“…exquisitely trilled by Gillene Butterfield…asserts itself afresh as a transfixing aria of discontent and distress.”
★★★★ — The Telegraph

“…sung with affecting pathos and superb diction.”
★★★★ — The Times

La voix humaine is part of Connecting Voices, a collaboration between Leeds Playhouse and Opera North bringing together a collection of new and classic work celebrating the power of the human voice. You can enjoy one event or book for all six, tickets will be limited and information will be shared with bookers about changes we have implemented to make the theatre experience safe according to government advice and Covid-19 guidelines. 


Running time
Approximately 40 minutes, no interval

* Book 2+ Connecting Voices events and save:
Book 2 events | £13 each
Book 3 events | £12 each
Book 4+ events | £11 each

La voix humaine
La voix humaine

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