"... the most outstanding performance I have seen in years!"
Francis Poulenc's La Voix Humaine, based on the play by Cocteau, was be presented in a live-streamed format featuring soprano Rebecca Achtenberg and directed by Rory Willats. The work depicts the emotionally fraught last phone call of a young woman with her ex-lover. By turns lyrical, clever, sarcastic, and intensely dramatic, the work speaks directly to the alienation we face as a society separated in space and only imperfectly connected through technology.
"This production was fantastic! I was so pleasantly surprised, and I enjoyed it even more than I expected. Your vision was beautifully communicated--Bravi tutti!"
"Rebecca is a star. Bravo, all."
"I felt privileged to see this superb performance. Rebecca Achtenberg is a wonderfully talented singer and actor."
"What a breathtaking performance. The soprano and the piano were beautiful. Not only was her voice beautiful, but the performance was so captivating, I was in tears and in pain for her. Thank you for such a wonderful evening."
"Beautiful and impressive performance!"
"Rebecca’s voice is beautiful! Her stage presence......her ability to sing in one voice and help us to know what the other voice might be saying.......she was brilliant!"
"Very creative performance. Lovely, compelling, expressive vocalization."
Rebecca Achtenberg, Soprano, is thrilled to join Bloomington Chamber Opera as Elle in La voix humaine. She recently began her Performer Diploma in Voice at Indiana University, and in the spring will sing Mimì in IU's production of La bohème. During the summer of 2020, she was slated to make her debut as Junon and to cover Clarine in Rameu's Platée as a member of the inaugural class of Vocal Fellows at Lakes Area Music Festival, whose 2020 season was cancelled due to Covid. She plans to join the festival next summer. In 2019, she was seen as Older Alyce (Glory Denied), Lia (l’Enfant prodigue), Rosario (Goyescas), Annina (La traviata), and High Priestess (Aida). Rebecca is a graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, with a double degree in Voice and Comparative Literature and received a master's degree in Voice from Westminster Choir College.
Rory Willats is a script-centric director and performance artist with a deep distrust for language. Born in the UK and raised in Indiana, his guiding practices stem from collaboration, sincerity, care, and obsession in which non-strictly-theatrical experiments inform and enliven the work. Recent directing highlights include his self-produced The Tragedy of Carmen, directing on the staff of Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program, and Matilda: The Musical with Stages Bloomington. To reach out, or see more of Rory’s work, explore his portfolio at RoryWillats.com.
Originally from South Carolina, Benjamin was educated at Northwestern University and Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. He has studied piano, conducting, and music history, and he is currently the music director at United Presbyterian Church. He has participated in the preparation of a wide variety of stage works, ranging from Handel's Alexander's Feast to Bernstein's Mass. Recent collaborations in Bloomington include Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and an outdoor production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Monroe County Civic Theater featuring Mendelssohn's incidental music. His Doctorate of Music degree is in progress at IU, with a final thesis on cryptology and hidden meanings in the late music of Johannes Brahms.