Two operas in one evening where women tell their own stories...
  • Date 2 February 2024 - 4 February 2024
  • Location Garden Quad Auditorium, St John's College

Orchestra VOX presents an opera double-bill

2, 3, 4 February, 2024

Two operas where women tell their own stories…

'La Voix Humaine' by Francis Poulenc

'Erwartung' by Arnold Schoenberg

Orchestra VOX presents the two most riveting psychological thrillers of 20th-century opera. Each opera features a single soprano and orchestra – and in these operas, the women claim their own agency to tell their stories.

In Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine (‘The Human Voice’), a woman struggles to cope with her life after being abandoned by her lover. She seeks truth, and a reason to live. The opera, based on Cocteau’s play of the same name, gives life to an internal dialogue of a woman not seen in previous operas.


In Schoenberg’s Erwartung, on the other hand, a woman wanders alone in a forest: she encounters fear, doubt, and moments of courage. Schoenberg wrote that he intended to ‘represent in slow motion everything that occurs during a single second of maximum spiritual excitement, stretching it out to half an hour’.

Both of these operas are free from the sentimentalism of 19th-century opera, and give voice to complex psychological states. The heroines are real, raw, and un-romanticised.

These opera will be brought to life by award-winning West End director Jonny Danciger. La Voix Humaine stars St John’s alumna Sofia Kirwan-Baez, and Erwartung stars Laura Coppinger, also an Oxford alumna.


DIRECTOR: Jonny Danciger

MUSIC DIRECTOR: Hannah von Wiehler

Soprano, La Voix Humaine: Sofia Kirwan-Baez (St John’s Alumna)

Soprano, Erwartung: Laura Coppinger

Purchase tickets on the Orchestra VOX website. Performances are at 19.30 on 2 and 3 and at 14.30 on 4 February.

There will be a Pre-Opera Talk and Reception with Dr. Sasha Rasmussen prior to the performance on 2 February. Please ensure to sign up for that separately.