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.