Divaria Productions, along with the Bay Street Theater is presenting Francis Poulenc and Jean Cocteau’s one act tragedy, “La Voix Humaine,” on October 2nd at 8pm live on the Bay Street Stage. This show once again will bring the talent and vision of renowned Director Anton Armendariz Diaz to the forefront of the Bay Street Theaters opera loving audience.
In a conversation with both soprano Ashley Galvani Bell and Director Anton Armendariz Diaz about this production, they both shared their excitement and insight of producing and performing this show live at Bay Street Theater. They also mentioned that this show will also include the very talented Ron Menzel.
Mr. Diaz who conceived of the idea to do this show spoke of its genesis saying, “I knew about this opera, …how a woman could tell the audience, because it is a monologue, about love. It came to my mind that these love feelings are not only for a woman but also a man.”
Ms. Bell went on to explain how this production will use Ron Menzel to play “male” Elle, with the part of “Elle” being split to man and woman but using the looking into the mirror effect; a woman looking into the mirror seeing the reflection of a man. Mr. Diaz said, “This way the show isn’t about or for just one woman but for all humanity! It is a question for all of us as human beings who can love somebody else so strongly, and then suffer for any reason that the love is gone, it is like a death of a beloved and of course we need a time to recover.”
Mr. Diaz and Ms. Bell also added that Ms. Bell will in fact not only sing with her award winning and much appreciated world-wide soprano voice, but also speak-sing some of the lines, something they have not done before at Bay Street or in any other production they have done.
Although the text of the play, that being the spoken words will be in English, the actual opera singing will be in French, as created by Jean Cocteau. Up until now Ms. Bell has only sung Italian Operas at Bay Street. She will be sharing her diversity in her role as the (female) Elle.
Ms. Belle who founded Divaria Productions explained why they chose “La Voix Humaine,” to be produced in Sag Harbor on October 2nd? She said, “I feel actually that story really lends itself well to the situation that a lot of us have been experiencing, because it is the story of someone whose only connection with the other person because as they are going to be splitting up, is this last phone conversation. The isolation and the separation is what a lot of us have been feeling throughout the pandemic, especially during the lockdown when our only contact with other people was through technology. In the very beginning for example, there are a lot of disruptions to the (phone) connections and she (Elle) gets extremely anxious because she really wants to hang on to the only thread that connects her to another human being at the moment. She has been very isolated because she has only been with this man for the past five years. Although she mentions she has one other friend, Martha. So, this is something that a lot of us have been going through with zoom, freaking out if the zoom connection is not going to work!”
She added this show, “Is not only about a romantic love one can embody but it also can also be love of our friends, of our family, and is about the feeling of this being so fragile in the fact that we can’t be with the other person and we are just connected via the technology.”
Tickets and further information along with extensive biographies of Anton Armendariz Diaz, Ashley Bell and Ron Menzel are available at www.baystreet.org/calendar/la-voix-humaine-by-divaria-productions/