Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (Dialogue of the Carmelites) explores the power of faith in overcoming fear. Set during the French Revolution and based on Georges Bernanos's play of the same name, this opera expands upon the true story of a convent of Carmelite nuns in Compiègne, France, who faced execution after refusing to renounce their vocation during the last days of the Reign of Terror. As Poulenc struggled to reconcile the horrors of World War II, he rediscovered his spirituality and commitment to Roman Catholicism. When he saw Bernanos's play, he was deeply moved, particularly by the journey of the lead character, Blanche de la Force, an aristocratic girl who joins the convent to escape her fear of the world and is thrust into the ultimate test of her courage and faith. This work contains some of Poulenc's most beautiful and personal music, including exquisitely rendered anthems and a shattering final scene. Dialogues des Carmélites will be sung in French with English supertitles.
Music and libretto by Francis Poulenc
Based on the play by Georges Bernanos
Conducted by Andrew Altenbach
Directed by Johnathon Pape