A Beautiful and Undervalued Human Voice

“Soprano Tati Helene gives a star interpretation at the Sala;

Continuing with its excellent programming, the Sala Cecilia Meireles presented this Saturday, September 2, the opera in one act La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice), by Francis Poulenc, on the libretto by Jean Cocteau, based on the play homonym of the librettist.

Released in Paris on February 6, 1859, this opera-monologue presents a woman abandoned by her lover and who, on the telephone, tries to maintain a dialogue with him. During the conversation, she demonstrates different emotional states, and uses tricks like the lie in an attempt not to let her interlocutor perceive her despair with separation. Now hoping and refusing to see reality, now realistic and desperate enough to confess to having attempted suicide, this distressed woman leads the drama alone.

This opera production  debuted in 2015, with the Young Municipal Orchestra of Guarulhos, and was later presented in a piano reduction (prepared by Poulenc himself) at Club Noir, in São Paulo. And it was thus, in this version with piano, that the production arrived in Rio de Janeiro. The minimalist staging of Roberto Alvim worked in the space of the Sala, which is obviously very cramped for the performance of staged operas. Scene props and lighting are also Alvim’s creation, while the costumes are by Juliana Galdino. Lighting plays a key role in the design of the director and has worked well, as far as possible, with equipment not exactly adequate space.

Emiliano Patarra is the musical director of the show, who entrusted the piano to Diego Lopes Salles. The pianist gave very good account of the “colors” of Poulenc, playing with dramatic expressiveness. To interpret the abandoned woman, one can not count on a medium singer, because she would not be able to carry the opera by yourself. No wonder, when the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro staged the play in 1997, the performer was none other than the great Italian soprano Renata Scotto. It was other times in the Municipal.

At the Sala, as it had already happened in Guarulhos and in São Paulo, the interpreter was the soprano Tati Helene. This was, if I’m not mistaken, the fifth time I’ve heard her, and at every opportunity Helene seems to sing better. This time, however, her challenge was greater because the soloist of this Poulenc needs to dominate the stage and concentrate the attention of the audience. His performance was impeccable, with a great sense of drama, and his lyric-spinto soprano voice toured the privileged acoustics of Sala Cecília Meireles, displaying a beautiful tone, accurate tuning and excellent projection in all regions.

One of the main challenges of a lyric singer is to represent with the voice. Tati Helene has also shown this predicate: the feelings experienced by the character were all transmitted not only by gestures or postures, but especially by her richly expressive voice. No wonder, when she appeared in the foyer of the Sala Cecilia Meireles for the greetings after the show, the artist was received with a great and well-deserved ovation.

The performance of the soprano in La Voix Humaine, by the way, made it clear that her talent has been undervalued by our main opera houses. Her artistic evolution is already calling for bigger flights.

By  Leonardo Marques Movimento.com (see the original in portuguese)


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