Blanche de la Force
Dialogues of the Carmelites
By Francis Poulenc
October 15–30, 2022
Starting at $26
3 hours, 6 minutes including one intermission
Sung in French with English supertitles
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.
See a Performance
Why 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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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.
Hear The Music
Audio excerpts are from the 1982 cast of Dialogues of the Carmelites (sung in English), with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra conducted by Henry Lewis.
Prelude to Act I, Scene 2/San Francisco Opera Orchestra; Sister Constance’s Aria/Betsy Norden; “Ave Maria”/San Francisco Opera Women’s Chorus; Blanche’s Scene with Her Brother/Carol Vaness/Howard Hensel; The New Prioress Gives Her Blessing/Leontyne Price; Final Scene/San Francisco Opera Women’s Chorus.