Poulenc: The Carmelites (Opera in English Series, 2-CD)

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Description

Poulenc: The Carmelites (Opera in English Series, 2-CD)

Composer: Francis Poulenc
Artists: Ashley Holland, Catrin Wyn-Davies, Peter Wedd, Gary Coward, Felicity Palmer, Josephine Barstow, Orla Boylan, Sarah Tyman, Jane Powell, Anne Marie Gibbons, Ryland Davies, William Berger, Orchestra & Chorus of the English National Opera
Conductor: Paul Daniel
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Chandos
CD Release Date: October 17, 2006

The release of The Carmelites continues Chandos’ English-language recordings of productions from the English National Opera, and while these may not be definitive versions of the operas, they constitute valuable contributions to a deeper appreciation of the works. The experience of hearing an opera in one’s first language cannot help but increase the listener’s understanding.

Joseph Machlis’ translation of Poulenc’s French libretto for Dialogues des Carmélites succeeds extraordinarily well in rendering the original into idiomatic English.



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History

Dialogues Des Carmélites

Francis Poulenc’s devastating story of faith, Dialogues Carmélites takes place between 1789 and 1794 in Paris and the town of Compiègne in northeastern France, the site of the Carmelite nuns’s convent.

Its historical basis is the martyrdom of a group of 16 Carmelite nuns and lay sisters from Compiègne, who chose to offer themselves as victims for the restoration of peace to France during the Revolution.
 
The three-act opera focuses on a young member of an order of Carmelite nuns, and the aristocratic, Blanche de la Force, who must overcome a pathological timidity in order to answer her life’s calling.

Dialogues Des Carmélites premiered at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan in 1957.

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