Dialogues des Carmelites (Dialogues of the Carmelites)

May 11 2019 - 12:00pm
Live via satellite from NYC's Metropolitan Opera

General Admission $20, $18 Opera House members, $10 Students, $175 Live at the Met Subscription, $142 Live at the Met Flex Subscription

Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the classic John Dexter production of Francis Poulenc’s devastating story of faith and martyrdom.  Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the touching role of Blanche and soprano Karita Mattila, a legend in her own time, returns to the Met as the Prioress.

One of the most successful operas of the later decades of the 20th century, Dialogues des Carmélites is a rare case of a modern work that is equally esteemed by audiences and experts. The opera focuses on a young member of an order of Carmelite nuns, the aristocratic Blanche de la Force, who must overcome a pathological timidity in order to answer her life’s calling. The score reflects key aspects of its composer’s personality: Francis Poulenc was an urbane Parisian with a profound mystical dimension, and the opera addresses both the characters’ internal lives and their external realities.

The opera takes place between 1789 and 1794 in Paris and in the town of Compiègne in northeastern France, the site of the Carmelite nuns’ convent. Its historical basis is the martyrdom of a group of 16 Carmelite nuns and lay sisters from Compiègne, who chose to offer themselves as victims for the restoration of peace to France during the Revolution. 

The production runs three hours, nine minutes, with one intermission.