University of Minnesota | School of Music: University Opera Theatre presents Francis Poulenc’s Les Dialogues de Carmelites
University Opera Theatre presents Francis Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmelites
David Walsh, director. Mark Russell Smith, conductor.
Premiered in 1957 at La Scala, Milan, the opera is often construed to be Poulenc’s response to the horrors of World War II and its aftermath. Though the opera is based on the true story of the sisterhood of Carmelite nuns executed during the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution of 1789, it is apolitical at its heart. The world it inhabits is a spiritual one—mystical, if you will—and the questions it raises are fundamentally existential, exploring how we conceive of our lives in the face of endemic violence and the universal inevitability of death. In its shattering finale, the opera depicts the grim murder of the sisters and yet manages to suggest a glimmer of hope for redemption of mankind through an act of inexplicable grace.
David Walsh, director. Mark Russell Smith, conductor. Sung in French with English supertitles.