Blanche, the timid daughter of an aristocrat, joins the Carmelite order of nuns, against the wishes of her family. In the monastery she meets Constance, a lively peasant girl, who makes a shocking prophecy. The terror and turbulence of the French Revolution provides the backdrop for Francis Poulenc's powerful opera of faith, bravery and redemption. Poulenc created the libretto for Dialogues des Carm?lites after a play of the same name by writer Georges Bernanos and the opera was given its premiere at La Scala, Milan, in 1957. It arrived at Covent Garden the following year, with a cast that featured Dame Joan Sutherland in the role of the courageous Mother Marie of the Incarnation. Running time: 3hrs (inclu one interval), Sung in French with English surtitlesPerformers Sally Matthews (Blanche), Sally Matthews (Blanche de la Force), Anna Prohaska (Sister Constance), Emma Bell (Madame Lidone), Sophie Koch (Mother Marie), Deborah Polaski (Madame de Croissy), Thomas Allen (Marquis de la Force), Yann Beuron (Chevalier de la Force), Elizabeth Sikora (Mother Jeanne), Catherine Carby (Sister Mathilde), Alan Oke (Father Confessor), David Butt Philip (First Commissary), Michel de Souza (Second Commissary), Ashley Riches (First Officer), Craig Smith (Gaoler).
Music Francis Poulenc. Producer Royal Opera. Conductor Simon Rattle. Director Robert Carsen. Design Michael Levine. Costume Falk Bauer. Lighting Jean Kalman. Director Philippe Giraudeau (movement). Company Royal Opera Chorus. Company Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.