La Voix humaine and Le Château de Barbe-Bleue


Double feature: (1) La Voix humaine (English: The Human Voice) opera by Francis Poulenc to a libretto by Jean Cocteau and (2) Le Château de Barbe-Bleue (Hungraian: A kékszakállú herceg vára; English: Bluebeard's Castle) opera by Béla Bartók to a libretto by Béla Balázs. Directed in 2015 by Krzysztof Warlikowski at the Palais Garnier. La Voix humaine stars Barbara Hannigan (Her) and Claude Bardouil (Him, a silent role); Le Château de Barbe-Bleue stars John Relyea (Duc) and Ekaterina Gubanova (Judith). Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Paris Opera Orchestra.  Set and costume design by Małgorzaty Szczęśniak; lighting design by Felice Ross; video by Denis Guéguin; choreography by Claude Bardouil; dramaturgy by Christian Longchamp; sound recording and mixing by Radio France. Directed for TV by Stéphane Metge; produced by Antoine Perset, Denis Morlière, and Laurent Métivier. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

Here's a double feature of two of the most famous one-act operas, including the most famous one-voice opera (Voix) and a perhaps the most famous two-voice opera (Barbe)! It appears the director has spiced up Voix by adding some dancing by Him, who in the original staging is never seen or heard because he's on the other end of a telephone call.

Few issues in typesetting have caused more exasperation than how to spell the name of the Duke in various languages. Even the artwork on the package is inconsistent, we think.

Here are some clips from the Opéra National de Paris:

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