Dialogues des Carmélites

08/12/2017 - 23/12/2017

‘We are not afraid: we imagine we are afraid. Fear is a delusion sent by the devil.’ In his screenplay Dialogues des Carmélites, later adapted for the stage, Georges Bernanos tells the tragic story of the nuns of a Carmelite convent who, during the Terror following the French Revolution, live in hope and fear under the constant threat of the guillotine. Francis Poulenc’s mystical opera is an outlier in his œuvre: its dramatic main theme and traditional tonal language show the influence of Musorgsky, Monteverdi, Debussy, and Verdi. Alain Altinoglu’s musical interpretation and Olivier Py’s pared-down, ascetic directing, acclaimed in Paris in 2013, make of this work a profound reflection on death, fear, and the will to live. ‘We do not die each for ourselves, but one for the other, or even one in place of the other, who knows?’

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