Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Poulenc's "Dialogues Des Carmelites".

Roman Text and Illustration from BBC RADIO 3
unless otherwise stated.

Zephyrinus recommends this production to all Readers.
It can be listened to, next Saturday, 7 June 2014, 1845 hrs,
on BBC Radio 3, live from The Royal Opera House,
Covent Garden, London.
[Editor: Covent Garden is so called because it was originally the "Convent Garden" of nearby Westminster Abbey. Therefore, this location is most apt for Poulenc's "Dialogues Des Carmelites".]

Image for Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites

Royal Opera House,
Covent Garden,

Poulenc takes the harrowing story of the Martyrdom of the Nuns of Compiègne during the French Revolution, and creates a rich and moving work, which centres on Blanche, a young Novice, who deals with her own fears to face her destiny.

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

In 1952, Poulenc started working on what was to become the opera Dialogues of the Carmelites, based on a story by Georges Bernanos. Poulenc soon became obsessed with this work. Poulenc adapted Bernanos' text for the libretto.

The opera was first performed at La Scala, in Italian, in January 1957, with Virginia Zeani singing the principal soprano role of Blanche. In June 1957, it was produced at the Paris Opera, with Denise Duval as Blanche and Régine Crespin as Madame Lidoine. In September of that year, it was produced in the USA, with Leontyne Price as Mme Lidoine; this was her first stage opera.

During the completion of his opera Dialogues des Carmelites, Poulenc suffered severe depression due to the copyright to Georges Bernanos' libretto. This eventually drove him to nervous breakdown. However, this is arguably the point at which his later style emerged; his descent into anxiety and depression and subsequent recovery can be seen as the source of the serenity and lyricism in much of his later work.

Poulenc died of heart failure in Paris on 30 January 1963 and is buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery.

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