A collection of quotes on Eugene Ionesco's "The Bald Soprano"

The Bald Soprano has become one of the great modern classical works in France ... No play has had a longer run, nor been performed in so many countries. Once considered difficult, it has proved that its appeal is universal.

ROSETTE C. LAMONT, Ionesco's Imperatives

In The Bald Soprano language is single-faceted and parodic. Clichés, formulae, mechanical trivia, and mindless inanities are sustained on one plane throughout; all of the characters speak the same interchangeable language, and are thus all leveled to one-dimensional insignificance. There is no protagonist, no antagonist, the characters lack self-consciousness: language alone is on heightened display.

JEANETTE R. MALKIN, Verbal Violence in Contemporary Drama

After Eugene Ionesco's first play, The Bald Soprano, opened in Paris in 1950 it ran for weeks before audiences that sometimes numbered fewer than ten. What these adventurous spectators saw was a revolutionary drama which had abandoned the chief conventions of naturalistic theater--recognizable characters, coherent plot--and used language to mock language and logic to make logic seem insane.

RICHARD GILMAN, The Drama Is Coming Now

The Bald Soprano is explosively, liberatingly funny ... a loony parody with a climax which is an orgy of non-sequiturs.

The Observer

In The Bald Soprano, people live in a limbo state in which language is dead, so they can't communicate with each other; in which causality is dead, so numbers don't really add up to anything, geography is only a poor attempt to pin some sort of labels on vast unknown spaces, names have no validity because they are only arbitrary sounds we assign to stand in for people, and existence itself is questionable because most of the time we don't really know where we are or what we're doing.

DAVID RUSH, A Student Guide to Play Analysis

The Bald Soprano baldly foregrounds language as irreducibly foreign.

STEVEN G. KELLMAN, The Translingual Imagination

The Bald Soprano is a parody of our conversations, of the so-called dramatic situations of our lives, and of our inability to remain silent.... By a deliberate, stark use of the banal and a repetition of the worn-out clichés of language, Ionesco generates an unusual, fresh atmosphere.

The Reader's Encyclopedia of World Drama

Ionesco's Bald Soprano succeeds in exploring the absurdity of human communication precisely because there is no congruity between the words and the activities of the characters--a disjunction that, ironically, makes his critique of behavior understandable.

JOHN LUTTERBIE, introduction, Hearing Voices

The Bald Soprano calls into question how we communicate with each other, or whether we really are communicating at all.

JONATHAN DORF, Young Playwrights 101


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