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Women’s tale of tragedies
La Voix Humaine/Dido and Aeneas -- Opera North
Opera North presented two one-act operas, both about abandoned women.
The male element is responsible in both, but there the resemblance ends.
The first was Francis Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine, where heroine Elle, on the telephone, is driven to suicide by her lover’s cruel desertion.
In Purcell’s tragedy, Dido is in love with Aeneas who has responsibilities overseas.
She, unlike demented Elle, has the support of sorceresses, witches and dancers as well as a friend Belinda.
Dido was movingly portrayed by Pamela Helen Parker Stephen, Amy Freston as Belinda was full of common sense and Philip Rhodes’s strong voice and bearing, very welcome.
Dido’s heartbreaking final aria was beautifully sung and for once we were spared a vulgar blackout and closed to a slow, silent curtain.
- Grand Theatre, Leeds, on Saturday (0844 848 2700).