Soprano Camille Zamora will phone in half of her performances with Opera Columbus next week.

Soprano Camille Zamora will phone in half of her performances with Opera Columbus next week.

Of course, Francis Poulenc's La Voix Humaine is a one-woman (with orchestra) opera that chronicles one side of a phone conversation between the woman and her lover, who is communicating his intent to leave her.

The performances will pair the Poulenc with Leoncavallo's Pagliacci in an imaginative double-bill that pairs contrasting works.

"I've never done a program like this, with this kind of pairing," Zamora said.

"La Voix Humaine is sort of a modern, film-noir style, while Pagliacci is this big, robust Italian opera. And while there is a literal language shift from French to Italian, there is also a shift in musical 'language' as well, from this delicate French watercolor to the vivid primary colors of Pagliacci."

Still, Zamora said, the pieces "inform each other in interesting ways, as both have this theme of love gone wrong."

Zamora, a Texas native who now makes her home in New York City, has performed La Voix Humaine with several companies around the world, and her association with the piece is how Opera Columbus Artistic Director Peggy Kriha Dye came to cast her in the Columbus production.

"It's a brilliant piece," Zamora said of the Poulenc, written in 1958 and based on a Jean Cocteau play of the same title.

"It's intense and dark, but with moments of humor and irony. Set in (post World War II-era) Paris, most of the phones were still party lines, so the piece finds the woman's conversation interrupted on occasion, leading to some absurd moments that also evoke some real beauty."

Dye said the locally produced show will feature a chorus singers from Ohio State University in the abbreviated presentation of Pagliacci.