Arts Review

Opera Queensland presents The Call & The Human Voice

Opera Queensland presents The Call & The Human Voice to audiences this Spring, leaving you mesmerized yet unsettled as it ventures further into the depths of the human psyche than any other QPAC performance I have seen to date. The performance is cleverly split into two halves, each half focusing on a middle aged woman coming to terms with her inner wounds/trauma. If any of the following themes make you feel uncomfortable: drug use, domestic violence and allusions to suicide please stop reading this review content. 


While being immersed in this performance I had at one point imagined there to be a connection between the two halves, however, the beauty of this concept lies in the fact that two completely separate individuals may be able to relate to each other’s experiences no matter how dissimilar. This modern opera reframes the way we view complete strangers, and isn’t afraid to start a dialogue with the audience in regards to their societal status and privilege in attending a performance such as this.


Opera Queensland are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable for the stage and finding new ways to connect and penetrate the exterior shell of its attendees. The Call & The Human Voice explores the mental landscape of two women from very different worlds with an underlying theme that explores a need for human connection. This performance could very well be split into two separate performances but Patrick Nolan is asking you as the audience to find a correlation between the two.


The Call & The Human Voice will push you to your limits and force you to ask the question: what are you really here for? The first half gives you a more traditional take on opera being sung in French, the english translation projected onto the backdrop of the set, while the second half introduces a more modern, abstract approach. Many questions were raised in the second half of the performance, most of them directed towards the audience members. 


Two very personal, intimate stories were revealed to us and each one of us is left to pick up the pieces. It will be exciting to see Opera Queensland continue to grow as a theatre company and flip the script on what it means to do opera. This company is constantly evolving, embracing new technologies and ideas and I look forward to seeing how it evolves over the coming years.


Joanna Letic


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