The action takes place during the French Revolution and follows the persecution of a convent of Carmelite nuns who declare a vow of martyrdom. Blanche, a novice at the convent, has a crisis of faith and in the climate of social unrest flees to the safety of her family only to find her father, the Marquis, has been executed. Blanche has to confront her fear and make a terrifying choice, does she renounce her faith and disappear into the crowd, or join her sisters as they face the guillotine one by one? Running time 2 hours 45 minutes.Performers Felicity Palmer (Madame de Croissy), Josephine Barstow (Mother Marie), Catrin Wyn-Davies (Blanche de la Force), Ashley Holland (Marquis de la Force), Orla Boylan (Madame Lidoine), Sarah Tynan (Sister Constance), Anne Marie Gibbons (Sister Mathilde), Ryland Davies (Chaplain), James Edwards (First Commissioner), Roland Wood (Second Commissioner), Toby Stafford-Allen (Officer), David Stephenson (Gaoler), William Berger (Monsieur Javelinot).
Music Poulenc. Corporate Sponsor Sky. Corporate Sponsor Artsworld. Producer English National Opera. Producer Welsh National Opera. Director Phyllida Lloyd. Design Anthony Ward. Lighting Hugh Vanstone. Translation Joseph Machlis. Conductor Paul Daniel.