POULENC’S OPERA: “DIALOGUE OF THE CARMELITES”

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture piece begins:

Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmélites” is a 1957 opera based on the true story of the Martyrs of Compiègne, a community of 16 Carmelite nuns who were guillotined during the French Revolution’s virulently anti-Catholic Reign of Terror.

The libretto is by Georges Bernanos (1881-1948), Catholic novelist best known for “Diary of a Country Priest.”

I confess that opera (favorite arias aside) is not my first love. Enter “Dialogues of the Carmélites,” which I came across in the form of a high definition Metropolitan Opera broadcast, a series that brings opera performances live into movie theaters throughout the world, and then archives them.

SPOILER: Martyrs ahead!

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

2 Replies to “POULENC’S OPERA: “DIALOGUE OF THE CARMELITES””

  1. Ruth Ann Pilney says: Reply

    As a Lay Carmelite, I am particularly interested in these martyrs. My voice teacher told me about the opera. She, at one time in her career, performed in it as one of the nuns. I will have to ask which one. I have sent her your link.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Wonderful, Ruth Ann, thank you! This version is well worthy watching…

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