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Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites”

Based on the true story of the martyrs of Compiègne and a screenplay by Georges Bernanos, Francis Poulenc’s moving opera is set amid the chaos of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. The timid Blanche de la Force withdraws from the world and enters a Carmelite convent, where she must confront her fears in the ultimate test of faith. Poulenc’s music explores a range of styles, from homage to 1940s film scores to the haunting medieval sound of liturgical chant. Special guest mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle, who sang the role of the Old Prioress at New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Central City Opera, reprises her role in this production.