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Reign of Terror Opera Closes Met HD Season
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Friday, May 10, 2019
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

A devastating tale of faith and martyrdom will close out the 2018-19 Metropolitan Live in HD season.

“Dialogues De Carmelites,” completed in 1956, will take the screen at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Big Wood 4 Cinemas in Hailey.

Tickets to the show, which runs three hours, are $16 and available for purchase at the door. Students will be admitted free as part of Sun Valley Opera’s educational outreach.

French composer Francis Poulenc’s opera takes place between 1789 and 1794 in Paris and in the town of Compiegne in northeastern France where the Carmelite nun’s convent is situated.

The story is rooted in the martyrdom of 16 Carmelite nuns and lay sisters who were guillotined in Paris during the closing days of the Reign of Terror for refusing to renounce their faith during  the French Revolution.

Polenc, who lived between 1899 and 1963, composed a wide variety of works, including piano and chamber music, ballets, operas and religious music. He wrote the opera’s libretto himself based on an unproduced screenplay by Georges Bernanos that was later turned into a stage play.

Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the John Dexter production. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the role of Blanche and soprano Karita Mattila, the prioress.

 

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