Francis Poulenc and Jean Cocteau’s one-act tragedy, La Voix Humaine, asks: What is love? Is all the suffering worth it? And most importantly: does love take a different form for a man and a woman?
These are the questions that drive the narrative. Two people interpreting the same character—living parallel lives, as in a mirror—until circumstances lead them to make different decisions.
This duality opens a world of existential metaphors: Is he her? Is she him? Both are the same person; whether male or female. they are just living emotions.
This is a bilingual production sung in French and spoken in English, combining the operatic monodrama with the original play. It premiered at Rioja Forum to great acclaim in 2018, where it will be reprised October 2021, and was featured in the New York Opera Fest.
"Incredible performance … capable of being presented on any European stage ... a surprising treat … the public applauded the three performers adamantly and of course the director who has the ability of enlightening the theatre scene with very daring and original productions.”
—Eduardo Aisa, La Rioja
"What this troupe is able to achieve is both clarity and beauty. It is a remarkable and accessible evening of opera theater."
—Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts
"A magnificent adaptation of an operatic masterpiece."
—Jennifer Pyron, Opera Wire
Ron Menzel (Elle) has appeared in the Broadway productions of Les Liaisons Dangereueses (Booth Theatre); and Parisian Woman (Hudson Theatre). Regional credits include Galileo in the PlayMakers Repertory Company production of Life of Galileo; ten Guthrie Theatre productions including Pericles (Pericles) and Vito Marcantonio in The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (World Premiere); Shakespeare Theatre Company; Studio Theatre; South Coast Repertory; Geva Theatre; City Theatre; Philadelphia Theatre Company; Mixed Blood Theatre; Ten Thousand Things; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and Huldufolk Theatre. Film and television credits include NCIS: New Orleans, Imprisoned, Crypto, Anonymous Content, Vernie, Fall into Me, Elementary, Blindspot, and Numb3rs.
Ashley Bell (Elle) has been hailed by Opera News as “delightful” and by Opera Wire as "a landscape of unknown depths." She has performed as a soloist in the United States, Italy, Spain, France, and Russia. Recent performances include her Carnegie Hall debut as soprano soloist in Hadyn’s Nelson Mass and Schubert’s Mass in C; debuting as Madama Butterfly with Townsend Opera; debuting as Mimi in La Bohème with both the Mississippi Opera and the Natchez Festival; Elle in a critically acclaimed performance of The Human Voice at Rioja Forum in Spain and at the New York Opera Fest; and debuting with New York City Opera in Montemezzi’s L'Amore Tre Re. Ashley is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University and speaks five languages fluently. Upcoming performances are to include a tour of La Voix Humaine in Spain and Mimi in La Bohème with California’s Opera Modesto.
J.A. Diaz (Director) completed his training in Film Direction & Interpretation with Eduardo Gil and Jordi Godall, stage director and professor of the Institut de Teatre de Barcelona. As a teen, Mr. Diaz was nominated for Best Film at the International Speleological Film Festival of Barcelona, competing against established professionals and television channels such as BBC, Antene 3, and TVE. As a director in Europe, he has directed L´Elisir D´Amore, Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, El sueño de Mozart (a production based on the Da Ponte trilogy), La Dolorosa, La Traviata, El Barberillo de Lavapies, La Voix Humaine, Don Pasquale & Heroinas, and Women in Zarzuela, among others. In 2011, he made his New York debut as stage director with Divaria Productions with a golf-themed production of Elisir D´Amore, and in 2014, he presented a successful bilingual version of the zarzuela La Dolorosa in honor of International Women´s Day in 2014. His most recent film Rival Queens, shot during the pandemic, has been featured in more than 10 international film festivals and won awards such as Best Documentary Feature (Madrid Arthouse Film Festival) and Best History Documentary (International Documentary Film Awards).