Dialogues of the Carmelites

By Francis Poulenc
October 15, 18, 21, 26, 30, 2022


To live in fear—or die in faith.

Outside, scaffolds rise in city squares as priests, nobles, and political prisoners face the merciless blade of the guillotine. The aristocrat Blanche de la Force had hoped the convent would serve as a sanctuary. But now, death is at the sisters' doorstep. And one by one, their faith will be tested.

Francis Poulenc’s profound drama returns to San Francisco in honor of the Company’s U.S. premiere of the work in 1957. Olivier Py’s award-winning staging pairs striking tableaus with Poulenc’s haunting, poetic score conducted by Music Director Eun Sun Kim.

Meet the Cast

Libretto by Emmet Lavery
Sung in French with English supertitles


See A Performance


Approximately 3 hours including one intermission

Why You Should See It

A true story from France’s Reign of Terror comes to life in Poulenc’s most powerful opera, a testament to the power of the human spirit—and the faith we can find in each other.

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Saturday 10/15/22 7:30PM
Tuesday 10/18/22 7:30PM
Friday 10/21/22 7:30PM
Wednesday 10/26/22 7:30PM
Sunday 10/30/22 2:00PM


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The Buzz

Read what the press has said about the stars of the production.

"[Ben] Bliss’ sweet tenor — fluid, bright, full of subtly shifting tone colors — seemed to have an element of heartbreak built in from the beginning."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"[Michelle] Bradley’s voluminous voice maintains impressive flexibility and surprising lightness in a wide range of repertory, from its rich, warm, vibrant middle and lower registers to its bright, full, thrilling top."
-Opera News

"[Heidi] Stober stops the show each time with her dramatic interpretation and golden pipes."
-Houston Press


A fearful young noblewoman seeks sanctuary in a convent on the eve of the French Revolution—only to discover herself facing a much greater crisis of faith, as death comes for the nuns.

Read Complete Synopsis ›


Cast and Creative

Blanche de la Force Heidi Stober
Mme. Lidoine Michelle Bradley *
Mme. de Croissy Michaela Schuster *
Mother Marie Melody Moore
Sister Constance Deanna Breiwick *
Marquis de la Force Dale Travis
Chevalier de la Force Ben Bliss
L’Aumonier Brenton Ryan
Mother Jeanne Catherine Cook
Sister Mathilde Taylor Raven


October 15, 18, 21, 26, 30, 2022

Conductor Eun Sun Kim
Production Olivier Py *
Revival Director Daniel Izzo *
Production Designer Pierre-André Weitz *
Lighting Designer Bertrand Killy *
Chorus Director John Keene
Fight Director Dave Maier

* San Francisco Opera Debut

Previous performances of Dialogues of the Carmelites can be found in our Archive.

Co-production of Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Bruxelles

Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by Louise Gund; Bernard and Barbro Osher, and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.

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