Blanche joined a convent to escape the Reign of Terror. Convent life challenges her.


Brian Large


Georges Bernanos (text)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Ewing Maria Ewing ... Blanche de la Force
Régine Crespin Régine Crespin ... Madame de Croissy
Jessye Norman ... Madame Lidoine
Florence Quivar Florence Quivar ... Mother Marie
Betsy Norden Betsy Norden ... Sister Constance
Jean Kraft Jean Kraft ... Mother Jeanne
Batyah Godfrey Ben-David Batyah Godfrey Ben-David ... Sister Mathilde
James Courtney James Courtney ... Marquis de la Force
David Kuebler David Kuebler ... Chevalier de la Force
Ben Holt Ben Holt ... Chaplain
Paul Franke Paul Franke ... Thierry
David Hamilton David Hamilton ... Javelinot
Charles Anthony ... First Commissioner
Russell Christopher Russell Christopher ... Second Commissioner
John Darrenkamp John Darrenkamp ... Jailer


Blanche joined a convent to escape the Reign of Terror. Convent life challenges her.

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opera | See All (1) »





Release Date:

4 April 1987 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

As amazing an opera production that you could ask for
27 October 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I appreciate Poulenc's music, though admittedly it took some time to. Dialogues Des Carmelites is my favourite work of his for reasons too numerous to list. The basic gist is that it is a superbly crafted and moving work. I found this Met production to be amazing, one of their best productions from the 80s and one of stage director's John Dexter's finest hours. It is also my favourite production of Dialogues Des Carmelites, the fact it was in English didn't hinder it in the slightest, the Anne-Sophie Schmidt and Opera Australia productions are also great albeit not as gripping or moving as this one. The costumes and sets are traditional and the colour schemes are those that people will find fittingly atmospheric(I fall into this camp) or drab. The staging is theatrical and never detracts from the tone of each scene, I can't think of a performance of any final scene in quite a while that had a profound and gripping effect as much as this one. The orchestral playing is both beautiful and powerful, with special mention going to the percussion, characterising the guillotine they had a chillingly thrilling effect. The conducting never rushes or drags, and the chorus singing is dynamic and reacts well to the drama. The three leads are superb. Apart from the occasional screechy top note, Maria Ewing is utterly riveting as Blanche, on the most part she sings really beautifully and gives some of her best ever acting. Jessye Norman's part of Madame Lidione is a fairly large one, and she gives it her characteristic vocal richness and a commanding presence. Regine Crespin, Jean Kraft and David Kuebler are also excellent. Stealing the show I think is Florence Quiver, in perhaps the best performance I've seen from her, I'd be hard pressed to find an address as jaw-droppingly intense as the one Quiver delivered with her large richly produced voice and her ever communicative, dignified acting. In conclusion, amazing in every regard. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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