Montsalvatge's Una voce in off and Poulenc's La voix humaine are linked by other factors apart from the influence Poulenc exerted on Montsalvatge. In both works an absent character is pivotal to both the plot and the emotional balance of the main female figure. Brevity is another thing these two 20th-century operas have in common and the fact that Angela's dead husband talks to her from a tape recorder at the other end of the telephone. It is his voice that causes her to question the future of her present relationship with another man. In Una voce in off Montsalvatge wrote an anti-Romantic manifesto, a sort of parody of bel canto. For La voix humaine, based on a text by Jean Cocteau, Poulenc drew on a wide variety of musical idioms to convey each successive phase in the psychological evolution of a woman who refuses to accept the harsh truth.
Una voce in off. Romantic opera in one act, subdivided into three scenes, for a cast of two and a half. Libretto and music by Xavier Montsalvatge. Premiered on 13 December 1962 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Last staged at the Liceu on 2 November 2002 in concert version.
La voix humaine. Tragédie lyrique in one act. Libretto by Jean Cocteau based on his own play. Music by Francis Poulenc. Premiered on 6 February 1959 at the Opéra Comique (Salle Favart) in Paris. First performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on 21 December 1965. Last staged at the Liceu on 2 June 2007.