Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

This page lists all recordings of Dialogues des Carmélites, by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) on CD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites


Denise Duval (Blanche de la Force), Regine Crespin (Madame Lidoine), Denise Scharley (Madame de Croissy), Rita Gorr (Mere Marie), Liliane Berton (Soeur Constance), Xavier Depraz (Le Marquis de la Force), Paul Finel (Le Chevalier de la Force), Louis Rialland (Monsieur Javelinot)

Choeurs et Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris, Pierre Dervaux

More than a magnificent performance of Poulenc’s gripping and deeply moving masterwork, this recording is a document of the singers and conductor who, at the Paris Opéra in 1957, gave the French premiere of Dialogues des Carmélites. The pivotal role of Blanche was written for Denise Duval, the composer’s favoured soprano, while Régine Crespin (Madame Lidoine) and Rita Gorr (Mère Marie) stand as two of the 20th century’s towering interpreters of French opera.

Erato The Opera Series - 2564648321

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 2013


Sophie Koch (Mère Marie de l’Incarnation), Patricia Petibon (Blanche de La Force), Véronique Gens (Madame Lidoine), Sandrine Piau (Soeur Constance de Saint Denis), Rosalind Plowright (Madame de Croissy), Topi Lehtipuu (Le Chevalier de La Force), Philippe Rouillon (Le Marquis de La Force), Annie Vavrille (Mère Jeanne de l’Enfant Jésus), Sophie Pondjiclis (Soeur Mathilde), François Piolino (Le Père confesseur du couvent), Jérémy Duffau (Le premier commissaire), Yuri Kissin (Le second commissaire, un officier) & Matthieu Lécroart (Le geôlier)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Chœur du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Jérémie Rhorer (conductor) & Olivier Py (director)

Rosalind Plowright talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about the production and the role of Madame de Croissy here.

Pierre-André Weitz – design and costumes

Bertrand Killy – lighting

Hervé Gary – lighting

Natalie Van Parys – choreography

Olivier Simonnet – filming director

At the end of 2013, the year that marked the 50th anniversary of Francis Poulenc’s death, his gripping and moving operatic masterpiece, Dialogues des Carmélites was staged in Paris by director Olivier Py with a cast featuring some of France’s finest female singers – Patricia Petitbon, Véronique Gens, Sandrine Piau and Sophie Koch – under the baton of Jérémie Rohrer. Le Figaro described the production as “a thing of wonder,” while Le Monde called it: “A masterpiece ... the most exciting and consummately achieved show to have been seen on a Parisian stage in a long time … This was great work, magisterial and unforgettable.”

“The memorable Dialogues des Carmélites at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées marked the climax of commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of Poulenc’s death,” wrote Opera magazine of the production of Poulenc’s gripping and moving opera that was staged by the French director Olivier Py in Paris in December 2013.

Among operas composed in the post-War era, Dialogues des Carmélites, first seen in 1957 at La Scala, is one of the most frequently performed and best loved. Set during the French Revolution, it tells the story of a highly-strung young aristocrat, Blanche de la Force, who seeks peace by joining a convent and finally goes to the guillotine with her fellow nuns. Faith, fear, and sacrifice are among the issues it addresses with music – sometimes austere, sometimes sensuous, sometimes both at once – that exemplifies Poulenc’s characteristic amalgam of simplicity and sophistication. Its final scene, as the nuns go one by one to their execution while singing a soaring ‘Salve regina’, is of spine-tingling pathos and power.

The stark, monochrome decor for Py’s production, designed by André Weitz, makes use of sliding panels that open and close to create the acting space or reveal expressionist vistas, while the costumes evoke the first half of the 20th century rather than the era of the Revolution itself. Especially striking is the death scene of Madame de Croissy, the old Prioress, searingly sung and acted by the British mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright: the audience views her agonies as if from above, since her bed is mounted vertically on the rear panel of the stage. Later in the opera, when it comes to the final night in their convent, before their expulsion by the revolutionaries, the nuns are assembled as if for the Last Supper, while the stunning, transcendent final scene is set against a starry sky.

Duration: 169 minutes

Languages: Sung in French, with subtitles available in English and German

Audio specs: Stereo Dolby 5.1

“Olivier Py's austere 1930s production boasts a distinguished, largely Francophone cast, headed by Poulenc specialist Patricia Petibon as Blanche, Sophie Koch as the fanatical Mère Marie, and British mezzo Rosalind Plowright as the tortured Old Prioress.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 21st November 2014

“Breathtakingly conducted by Jérémie Rohrer, it boasts one of the finest casts ever assembled for the piece. Patricia Petibon gives the performance of a lifetime as Blanche...[Plowright's] performance has a dramatic veracity that is disturbing in the extreme...Long sceptical about the piece, I was completely won over – the highest complement I can pay it.” The Guardian, 12th December 2014 *****

“this film of a production staged in Paris in 2013 has the immediate advantage of a wonderfully responsive conductor in Jérémie Rhorer and a largely Francophone cast...Py’s abstract staging is refreshingly straightforward...overall this is a performance charged with all the opera’s doom-laden dramatic urgency and spiritual power.” The Telegraph, 24th January 2015 ****

“taken as a whole, this is visually by far the best recent Carmelites. It also has a dream cast...Petibon masterfully conveys the complexities of her contradictory character...Piau is a wonderfully bright-eyed as Constance, Rosalind Plowright is suitably disturbing in the alternate 'mad scene'..With Jérémie Rhorer's nuanced conducting, the Philharmonia on top form and sympathetic filming, there are no weaknesses.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 *****

“Gens is a lean, nervous (rather than benelovent) Madame Lidoine...Koch's strong presence puts a particularly sharp point on the severity of Carmelite life...Plowright maintains great vocal and dramatic tension...Ultimately, the production and performances take the opera beyond the nuns' story but question the moral responsibility of martyrdom.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - March 2015

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2016

Video Winner

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Erato - 2564621953

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$22.00

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Filmed in HD at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich), 03/2010


Alain Vernhes (Marquis de la Force), Susan Gritton (Blanche de la Force), Bernard Richter (Chevalier de la Force), Sylvie Brunet (Madame de Croissy), Soile Isokoski (Madame Lidoine), Susanne Resmark (Mère Marie), Hélène Guilmette (Soeur Constance), Heike Grötzinger (Mère Jeanne) & Anaïk Morel (Soeur Mathilde)

Bayerisches Staatsorchester & Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Kent Nagano

Stage direction and set design: Dmitri Tcherniakov

Costumes Elena Zaytseva, Lighting Gleb Filshtinsky

A passionate lover of the human voice, Francis Poulenc composed the Dialogues des Carmélites in 1953, using a libretto he himself had written from a screenplay by Georges Bernanos. The first ever performances in Munich, this production was entrusted to Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose worldwide reputation is underpinned by productions like Eugene Onegin and Macbeth at the Paris Opera and Don Giovanni at Aixen-Provence.

The superb international cast includes a fine Blanche de la Force in Susan Gritton and an excellent Madame de Croissy by Sylvie Brunet, who was favourably compared to Rita Gorr in the press. They are superbly backed up by Soile Isokoski, Susanne Resmark, Hélène Guilmette, Alain Vernhes and the fabulous Bernard Richter.

Kent Nagano with the Dialogues literally at his fingertips – he recorded a landmark version some years ago – is at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Duration : 146 minutes

Subtitles : Fr, Eng, Ger, Spa

Colour 16/9, NTSC

PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1

“[the production is] set in a soulless authoritarian state but filmed in a way that underlines individual dilemmas and common humanity. It is worth watching for Sylvie Brunet’s doughty Madame de Croissy, Soile Isokoski’s gracious Madame Lidoine and Susan Gritton’s winning Blanche.” Financial Times, 4th June 2011 ***

“Tcherniakov's production is probably the most physically active Dialogues ever staged. Everyone is seemingly in constant motion...Sylvie Brunet is a memorably formidable and pitiable Croissy...Helen Guilmette's Constance, lively but never cloying or cute, is immeasurably enhanced by heavenly floated pianissimi...Isokoski, suitably dignified in her role, is in ravishing voice.” International Record Review, July/August 2011

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Filmed in HD at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich), 03/2010


Alain Vernhes (Marquis de la Force), Susan Gritton (Blanche de la Force), Bernard Richter (Chevalier de la Force), Sylvie Brunet (Madame de Croissy), Soile Isokoski (Madame Lidoine), Susanne Resmark (Mère Marie), Hélène Guilmette (Soeur Constance), Heike Grötzinger (Mère Jeanne) & Anaïk Morel (Soeur Mathilde)

Bayerisches Staatsorchester & Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Kent Nagano

Stage direction and set design: Dmitri Tcherniakov

Costumes Elena Zaytseva, Lighting Gleb Filshtinsky

A passionate lover of the human voice, Francis Poulenc composed the Dialogues des Carmélites in 1953, using a libretto he himself had written from a screenplay by Georges Bernanos. The first ever performances in Munich, this production was entrusted to Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose worldwide reputation is underpinned by productions like Eugene Onegin and Macbeth at the Paris Opera and Don Giovanni at Aixen-Provence.

The superb international cast includes a fine Blanche de la Force in Susan Gritton and an excellent Madame de Croissy by Sylvie Brunet, who was favourably compared to Rita Gorr in the press. They are superbly backed up by Soile Isokoski, Susanne Resmark, Hélène Guilmette, Alain Vernhes and the fabulous Bernard Richter.

Kent Nagano with the Dialogues literally at his fingertips – he recorded a landmark version some years ago – is at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Subtitles : Fr, Eng, Ger, Spa

Colour 1080i HD, 16/9

PCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio

“[the production is] set in a soulless authoritarian state but filmed in a way that underlines individual dilemmas and common humanity. It is worth watching for Sylvie Brunet’s doughty Madame de Croissy, Soile Isokoski’s gracious Madame Lidoine and Susan Gritton’s winning Blanche.” Financial Times, 4th June 2011 ***

“Tcherniakov's production is probably the most physically active Dialogues ever staged. Everyone is seemingly in constant motion...Sylvie Brunet is a memorably formidable and pitiable Croissy...Helen Guilmette's Constance, lively but never cloying or cute, is immeasurably enhanced by heavenly floated pianissimi...Isokoski, suitably dignified in her role, is in ravishing voice.” International Record Review, July/August 2011

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Bel Air Classiques - BAC461

(Blu-ray)

$30.00

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live Recording from Teatro Degli Arcimboldi, Milan, 2004


Dagmar Schellenberger (Blanche), Anja Silja (Madame de Croissy), Barbara Dever (Mère Marie de l‘Incarnation), Laura Aikin (Soeur Constance de Saint-Denis) & Christopher Robertson (Le Marquis de la Force)

Teatro Alla Scala, Riccardo Muti (conductor) & Robert Carsen (director)

When Canadian opera director Robert Carsen produced his intense staging of Francis Poulenc’s compelling opera Dialogues des Carmélites in 2001, it impressed audiences and critics alike, and also gained the interest of Riccardo Muti, who arranged for the production to be staged at La Scala, Milan. Muti himself conducted Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala and a superb, handpicked cast of singers. German soprano Dagmar Schellenberger, who received much critical acclaim for her debut at La Scala, takes the role of the young aristocrat Blanche who, during the French Revolution, seeks salvation in a convent. Following a decree dissolving all the country’s religious houses, the Carmelite nuns take a vow of martyrdom and sing their way to the scaffold. The last to die is Blanche, together with Soeur Constance, sung by the American soprano Laura Aikin. The production was particularly notable for the participation of Anja Silja, one of the greatest singers of our times, as Madame de Croissy.

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 16:9

Original Language: FR

Subtitles: GB, DE, FR, ES, IT

Blu-ray Disc 25 GB (Single Layer)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Running Time: 149 mins

FSK: 6

Region free

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik Legendary Performances - 109205

(Blu-ray)

$17.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live Recording from Teatro Degli Arcimboldi, Milan, 2004


Dagmar Schellenberger (Blanche), Anja Silja (Madame de Croissy), Barbara Dever (Mère Marie de l‘Incarnation), Laura Aikin (Soeur Constance de Saint-Denis) & Christopher Robertson (Le Marquis de la Force)

Teatro Alla Scala, Riccardo Muti (conductor) & Robert Carsen (director)

When Canadian opera director Robert Carsen produced his intense staging of Francis Poulenc’s compelling opera Dialogues des Carmélites in 2001, it impressed audiences and critics alike, and also gained the interest of Riccardo Muti, who arranged for the production to be staged at La Scala, Milan. Muti himself conducted Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala and a superb, handpicked cast of singers. German soprano Dagmar Schellenberger, who received much critical acclaim for her debut at La Scala, takes the role of the young aristocrat Blanche who, during the French Revolution, seeks salvation in a convent. Following a decree dissolving all the country’s religious houses, the Carmelite nuns take a vow of martyrdom and sing their way to the scaffold. The last to die is Blanche, together with Soeur Constance, sung by the American soprano Laura Aikin. The production was particularly notable for the participation of Anja Silja, one of the greatest singers of our times, as Madame de Croissy.

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

Original Language: FR

Subtitles: GB, DE, FR, ES, IT

DVD 9 / NTSC

Running Time: 149 mins

FSK: 6

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik Legendary Performances - 109204

(DVD Video)

$17.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 2013


Sophie Koch (Mère Marie de l’Incarnation), Patricia Petibon (Blanche de La Force), Véronique Gens (Madame Lidoine), Sandrine Piau (Soeur Constance de Saint Denis), Rosalind Plowright (Madame de Croissy), Topi Lehtipuu (Le Chevalier de La Force), Philippe Rouillon (Le Marquis de La Force), Annie Vavrille (Mère Jeanne de l’Enfant Jésus), Sophie Pondjiclis (Soeur Mathilde), François Piolino (Le Père confesseur du couvent), Jérémy Duffau (Le premier commissaire), Yuri Kissin (Le second commissaire, un officier) & Matthieu Lécroart (Le geôlier)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Chœur du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Jérémie Rhorer (conductor) & Olivier Py (director)

Rosalind Plowright talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about the production and the role of Madame de Croissy here.

Pierre-André Weitz – design and costumes

Bertrand Killy – lighting

Hervé Gary – lighting

Natalie Van Parys – choreography

Olivier Simonnet – filming director

At the end of 2013, the year that marked the 50th anniversary of Francis Poulenc’s death, his gripping and moving operatic masterpiece, Dialogues des Carmélites was staged in Paris by director Olivier Py with a cast featuring some of France’s finest female singers – Patricia Petitbon, Véronique Gens, Sandrine Piau and Sophie Koch – under the baton of Jérémie Rohrer. Le Figaro described the production as “a thing of wonder,” while Le Monde called it: “A masterpiece ... the most exciting and consummately achieved show to have been seen on a Parisian stage in a long time … This was great work, magisterial and unforgettable.”

“The memorable Dialogues des Carmélites at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées marked the climax of commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of Poulenc’s death,” wrote Opera magazine of the production of Poulenc’s gripping and moving opera that was staged by the French director Olivier Py in Paris in December 2013.

Among operas composed in the post-War era, Dialogues des Carmélites, first seen in 1957 at La Scala, is one of the most frequently performed and best loved. Set during the French Revolution, it tells the story of a highly-strung young aristocrat, Blanche de la Force, who seeks peace by joining a convent and finally goes to the guillotine with her fellow nuns. Faith, fear, and sacrifice are among the issues it addresses with music – sometimes austere, sometimes sensuous, sometimes both at once – that exemplifies Poulenc’s characteristic amalgam of simplicity and sophistication. Its final scene, as the nuns go one by one to their execution while singing a soaring ‘Salve regina’, is of spine-tingling pathos and power.

The stark, monochrome decor for Py’s production, designed by André Weitz, makes use of sliding panels that open and close to create the acting space or reveal expressionist vistas, while the costumes evoke the first half of the 20th century rather than the era of the Revolution itself. Especially striking is the death scene of Madame de Croissy, the old Prioress, searingly sung and acted by the British mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright: the audience views her agonies as if from above, since her bed is mounted vertically on the rear panel of the stage. Later in the opera, when it comes to the final night in their convent, before their expulsion by the revolutionaries, the nuns are assembled as if for the Last Supper, while the stunning, transcendent final scene is set against a starry sky.

Duration: 169 minutes

Languages: Sung in French, with subtitles available in English and German

Audio specs: Stereo Dolby 5.1

“Olivier Py's austere 1930s production boasts a distinguished, largely Francophone cast, headed by Poulenc specialist Patricia Petibon as Blanche, Sophie Koch as the fanatical Mère Marie, and British mezzo Rosalind Plowright as the tortured Old Prioress.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 21st November 2014

“Breathtakingly conducted by Jérémie Rohrer, it boasts one of the finest casts ever assembled for the piece. Patricia Petibon gives the performance of a lifetime as Blanche...[Plowright's] performance has a dramatic veracity that is disturbing in the extreme...Long sceptical about the piece, I was completely won over – the highest complement I can pay it.” The Guardian, 12th December 2014 *****

“this film of a production staged in Paris in 2013 has the immediate advantage of a wonderfully responsive conductor in Jérémie Rhorer and a largely Francophone cast...Py’s abstract staging is refreshingly straightforward...overall this is a performance charged with all the opera’s doom-laden dramatic urgency and spiritual power.” The Telegraph, 24th January 2015 ****

“taken as a whole, this is visually by far the best recent Carmelites. It also has a dream cast...Petibon masterfully conveys the complexities of her contradictory character...Piau is a wonderfully bright-eyed as Constance, Rosalind Plowright is suitably disturbing in the alternate 'mad scene'..With Jérémie Rhorer's nuanced conducting, the Philharmonia on top form and sympathetic filming, there are no weaknesses.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 *****

“Gens is a lean, nervous (rather than benelovent) Madame Lidoine...Koch's strong presence puts a particularly sharp point on the severity of Carmelite life...Plowright maintains great vocal and dramatic tension...Ultimately, the production and performances take the opera beyond the nuns' story but question the moral responsibility of martyrdom.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - March 2015

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2016

Video Winner

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Erato - 2564622069

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$21.00

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites


Sally Matthews (Blanche), Yann Beuron (Le Chevalier de la Force), Jean-Philippe Lafont (Le Marquis de la Force), Deborah Polaski (Madame de Croissy), Heidi Brunner (Madame Lidoine), Michelle Breedt (Mère Marie), Hendrickje van Kerckhove (Soeur Constance), Magdalena Anna Hofmann (Mere Jeanne), Christa Ratzenbock (Soeur Mathilde)

ORF Radio Symphonieorchester Wien & Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Bertrand de Billy

This opera was premiered in La Scala, Milan in 1957 and is currently enjoying a renaissance in many important opera houses. This is a live recording of the celebrated production from the Theater an der Wien and combines performances from 2008 and 2011.

“The most successful singers are mezzo-soprano Michelle Breedt who brings the right tone of sympathy to the role of Mere Marie, and soprano Hendricke van Kerckhove whose Soeur Contsnace is delightfully scatty, though also wise beyond her years...The Viennese ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra plays with spirit, even if the string section lacks that essentially French bite and implacability.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012 ***

“No neutral restraint (or Brechtian distance) here but an earthy, folky quality...The conductor's pacing and range of tempi here contribute totally to the stage's mounting tension. The recording is effective, straightforward, quite close.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2012

“The finest singing in this performance comes from its protagonist. Sally Matthews's vocal command exceeds that of any Blanche currently on CD (even EMI's legendary Denise Duval). Her lyric soprano takes on an exciting edge in Blanche's dramatic outbursts, but Matthews also boasts luminous floated pianissimos...[Michelle Breedt] certainly possesses the most beautiful voice of any recorded Marie” International Record Review, May 2012

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites


Denise Duval (Blanche de la Force), Regine Crespin (Madame Lidoine), Denise Scharley (Madame de Croissy), Rita Gorr (Mere Marie), Liliane Berton (Soeur Constance), Xavier Depraz (Le Marquis de la Force), Paul Finel (Le Chevalier de la Force), Louis Rialland (Monsieur Javelinot)

Orchestre et Choeurs du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris, Pierre Dervaux

2CD+1CDR

Recording Country: France

Recording Location: 15, 17, 20, 22, 24-25 & 28-31 January 1958 / Salle de la Mutualité, Paris

Mix Date: 31 Jan 1958

Producer: René Challan. Engineer: Walther Ruhlmann

Source matrix nos.: 2XLA 493-498 (La Voix de son maître FALP 523-525)

“For Poulenc's dramatic masterpiece - a stark depiction of the fate of a religious order during the French Revolution - you still can't really beat this original-French-cast recording from 1958, with Poulenc's muse Denise Duval as the neurasthenic Blanche de la Force and the great Régine Crespin as Madame Lidoine.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 21st November 2014

Warner Classics - The Opera Series - 9482282

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live Recording from The Staatsoper Hamburg, 2008


Alexia Voulgaridou (Blanche de la Force), Wolfgang Schöne (Marquis de la Force), Nikolai Schukoff (Le chevalier de la Force), Kathryn Harries (Madame de Croissy), Anne Schwanewilms (Madame Lidoine), Gabriele Schnaut (Mère Marie de l‘Incarnation)

Staatsoper Hamburg, Simone Young (conductor) & Nikolaus Lehnhoff (director)

Set Design by Raimund Bauer.

The opera Dialogues of the Carmelites is the only opera the French composer Francis Poulenc has ever written. It is based on the screenplay Die begnadigte Angst by Georges Bernanos. The material for the opera is based on actual historic events. Poulenc converges religion and revolution: The young Blanche de la Force who suffers from existential fear all life long, escapes into a convent hoping to conquer her paralysing fear of life and death. Even the walls of the convent cannot stop the French Revolution. The nuns of the Carmelite Order fail to resist it and accept to die in martyrdom. Fascinated by their constancy finally Blanche overcomes her angst and follows her sisters to the scaffold. This dramatic opera in three acts had its debut performance at La Scala in Milan in 1957. With its religious theme this opera takes a special position in the theatre of music in the 20th century. Poulencs clear and insistent musical language is perfectly interpreted by conductor Simone Young and the Philharmoniker Hamburg. This production showcases big, vibrant voices from all age categories who are not only brilliant in singing but also in acting. Besides the great musical performance, the main reason for the huge success of the opera is stage director Nikolaus Lehnhoff. His simplistic stage design together with the mystic light installation this opera guarantees great listening and also an amazing viewing pleasure.

“…the sheer power of Lehnhoff’s final scene simply takes your breath away.” Hamburger Abendblatt

“It is remarkable how Lehnhoff succeeds in narrating the events of a two-and-a-half hour drama that is low on action without losing power or intensity.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Sound Format: PCM STEREO, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

Subtitle Languages: FR, GB, DE, ES, IT, JP

Running Time: 166 mins

FSK: 0

“Lehnhoff takes a relatively minimalist approach...The principals are generally strong. Kathryn Harries is moving as the dying Madame de Croissy...Laura Aikin is effective as the gregarious Sister Constance and Gabriele Schnaut captures the frustrations of Mere Marie...Simone Young draws some marvellous textures from the orchestra” BBC Music Magazine, October 2010 ***

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Arthaus Musik - 101493

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