Dialogues des Carmelites
Ethereal spirituality set against the background of the horrifying excesses of the French Revolution provides a basis for great opera. In 1957 Francis Poulenc's opera, Dialogue des Carmelites, premiered with a libretto by the composer. Featuring tonal music, with a seriousness I am unfamiliar with in his music, this opera is among the best that I have seen in some time. The characterization is rich and the tension builds as the Nuns gradually move toward their eventual fate of martyrdom. The production by Lyric Opera, which I attended last night, left me wanting a bit more spectacle from the rather sparse set, but its' simplicity allowed me to contemplate the uniqueness of the music.