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London Symphony Orchestra/Barbara Hannigan

Poulenc La voix humaine

Portrait of Barbara Hannigan

Barbara Hannigan conducts, presents and sings Poulenc’s opera La voix humaine: a heart, a soul and a whole human life, in one devastating telephone call. 

‘Just a look could change everything … but with this telephone between us, what’s done is done. Don’t worry – no-one ever tries to kill themselves twice’. Alone in her bedroom, a young woman makes a call. We don’t know who she’s calling, or the story that has brought her to stake everything on a single shaky connection – but as the one-sided conversation unfolds, we find ourselves living every tear, every memory and every bitter, desperate hope.

Hannigan does all this with the added element of live video on the big screen: just uncompromising emotion, and souls stripped bare.

La voix humaine turns a monologue by Jean Cocteau into a drama that burns itself into your memory. Who better to take the central role than Barbara Hannigan, a performer who charges everything she performs with the immediacy and honesty of life itself?

Barbican Hall