Final Performance is October 30

Dialogues of the Carmelites

By Francis Poulenc

Overview

Dates

October 15–30, 2022

Composer

Francis Poulenc

Price

Starting at $26

Run Time

2 hours, 50 minutes including one intermission

Language

Sung in French with English supertitles

Libretto

Francis Poulenc

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.

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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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The Buzz

“Magnificently sung from top to bottom, conducted with fluid assurance by Music Director Eun Sun Kim and staged with an eye to both grandeur and immediacy, ‘Carmelites’ conjures up every expressive strand in [Francis] Poulenc’s suave score and weaves it into a rich dramatic tapestry.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“This new production isn’t merely successful, it’s a potent triumph.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Soprano Heidi Stober’s appearances with the company have been reliable sources of joy… But her performance as Blanche added a new and even deeper level of psychological specificity to her expected vocal brilliance.”

San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis

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
Synopsis courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

Creative Team

Production

Olivier Py*

Production Designer

Pierre-André Weitz*

Lighting Designer

Bertrand Killy*

* San Francisco Opera Debut

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

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

Listen


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.


Dialogues of the Carmelites Pre-Opera Talk
By Laura Prichard

Related Articles

Dive deeper by exploring articles before or after the opera!

Made Possible By

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