What’s On: The Human Voice & The Call (Opera Queensland, Brisbane Festival)

The Call & The Human Voice

20 – 24 September 2022

Concert Hall, QPAC, South Bank

Opera Queensland presents a female-led double bill as part of Brisbane Festival 2022, in association with FLUXUS, starring Ali McGregor and Alexandra Flood in two one-act productions grappling with loneliness, emotional disconnect, and how one phone call can change everything.

The Call is a new Australian work, inspired by a true story about a woman left with nothing but a phone number. She dials, someone answers, and so begins a conversation that changes everything. The concept for The Call was developed by Ali McGregor (creator of Lorelei), who stars in the world premiere opera and is based on an original story originally told by Auburn Sheaffer at The Moth about how a single act of kindness can transform an entire life. Composer Connor D’Netto and librettists Keir Nuttall and Kate Miller-Heidke bring the story to life as an opera.

Francis Poulenc’s The Human Voice is a modern classic telling the story of Elle (Alexandra Flood), and the last conversation she has with her lover. Rather than compassion, she is confronted with a truth she finds impossible to accept.

Both productions are directed by OQ CEO and Artistic Director Patrick Nolan, and feature Conductor Zoe Zeniodi leading the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, with set and costumes by Marg Horwell (The Marriage of Figaro) and lighting by Bernie Tan-Hayes. The Call is sung in English with English surtitles, and The Human Voice is sung in French with English subtitles.

“In this double-bill of solo soprano performances we present two different works, both of which centre around a woman and a phone call that changes her life,” said Nolan. “The Call is a new Australian work, while The Human Voice was written in the 1950s and has been popularised in film with leading ladies including Sofia Loren and Tilda Swinton. Both works allow the audiences to experience an emotional world of remarkable beauty and tenderness.”

Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said that these two operas had so much to offer the Brisbane Festival line-up. “This double bill represents the world premiere of The Call, the Brisbane Festival debut for ‘cabaret Queen’ Ali McGregor, a Brisbane debut for Zoe Zeniodi, and Alexandra Flood’s Opera Queensland mainstage debut,” she said. “We are thrilled to be able to be collaborating with Opera Queensland in presenting audiences these two short operas featuring an internationally acclaimed creative team and cast.”

For ticketing and further information, visit the Opera Queensland website

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