by Mike Telin
Francis Poulenc’s 1956 Dialogues of the Carmelites will be the next production of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Opera Theater, opening on Wednesday, February 27 and running through Saturday, March 2, with stage direction by David Bamberger. Harry Davidson conducts the CIM orchestra. Following Poulenc’s wishes, the libretto will be sung in the language the audience understands, but with English supertitles added. The opera is double-cast for Wednesday-Friday and Thursday-Saturday performances.
Dialogues of the Carmelites tells the true story of an order of Carmelite nuns during the French Revolution whose monastery is seized and its members executed. The plot centers around the spiritual journey of Blanche de la Force, the daughter of a wealthy nobleman. “What I think is particularly interesting is that the events are completely historical,” says CIM Opera Theater director David Bamberger. “The famous last scene where the nuns are guillotined and their voices drop out one at a time is exactly what happened.” He adds that while the character of Blanche de la Force and her family are invented, with a quick Google search you can read the story of the Carmelites and the Reign of Terror. [Read more…]