Culture Magazine

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Dialogues of the Carmelites

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
One of the greatest Met productions receives a necessary revival.
by Paul J. Pelkonen

Metropolitan Opera Preview: Dialogues of the Carmelites

The sisters of the Carmelite order in John Dexter's production of Dialogues of the Carmelites.
Photo by James Heffernan © 1977 The Metropolitan Opera.

The Metropolitan Opera's John Dexter production of Dialogues des Carmélites is the stuff of legend. It's the Holy Grail for lovers of French opera and modernistic staging: a stark, elegant vision of emotional depth and religious beauty.  The good news is that this revival stars Patricia Racette as Blanche, a role she sung at the Met ten years ago. Felicity Palmer and Isabel Leonard round out a stellar cast. The bad news: the Met has scheduled just three performances.
Dialogues is a stark, sad true story of an order of Carmelite nuns whose world collapses with the onset of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. It is also the story of Blanche, terrified daughter of a wealthy family who fins her inner strength as a nun, overcomig her fear to join her sisters in a vow of holy martyrdom.
François Poulenc's music combines 20th century ideas with medieval French polyphony to create a unique sound-world for his nuns to inhabit. He said: "You must forgive my Carmelites. It seems they can only sing tonal music." And that's what you'll hear, all the way up to the finale: a chorus of the Salve Regina that is repeatedly interrupted by the sickening, falling thud of the guillotine's blade--and the silencing of their voices, one by one.
Dialogues of the Carmelites opens May 4. Please note that the Saturday matinée starts at the ungodly hour of 11:30am.

Recording Recommendations:
Orchestra and chorus of the Opera Lyon cond. Kent Nagano (Virgin/EMI 1992)
Blanche: Catherine Dubosc
Madame de Croissy: Rita Gorr
Mere Marie: Martine Dupuy
Madame Lidoine: Rachel Yakar
This is the second major recording of this opera, a complete, unabridged recording of Poulenc's score conducted by the sensitive baton of Kent Nagano. Recorded at the Opera Lyon with a strong cast, led by Catherine Dubosc, Rachel Yakar and legendary mezzo-soprano Rita Gorr who sang in the Paris premiere in 1957. There is no libretto.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
    FOOD & DRINK, A-CLASSER
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
    TRAVEL
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING