The Carmelites (Opera in English Series CD)

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Item:1000001436

Description

The Carmelites (Opera in English Series CD)

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 (assuming that the piece is performed well, using a sensitive translation) cannot help but increase the listener's understanding.

Hearing the words sung in English cements them in the listener's memory in a way that simply reading a translated libretto cannot, and that's particularly important in an opera as talky as The Carmelites. There are several outstanding recordings in French, so the Chandos CD may not be the first choice for the listener who plans to own only one version, but for anyone who loves the opera who isn't fluent in French, this CD could be of real interest. Joseph Machlis' translation succeeds extraordinarily well in rendering the original into idiomatic English.

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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