Ailyn Pérez, Christine Goerke, Jamie Barton, and Alice Coote join soprano Sabine Devieilhe in her Met debut

By Iride Aparicio

Photos Courtesy: The Met

New York, NY.  In a Metropolitan Opera press release, the MET informs us that John Dexer classic production of the Opera "Dialogues des Carmelites, considered by critics the master work of Francis Poulenc (l888-l948), composer of compelling works in a wide variety of genres, will return to the MET stage for five performances starting on January 15, with Soprano Ailyn Pérez in the lead role of Blanche de la Force, and Christine Goerke as Madame Lidoine. The distinguished cast also includes: Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Mother Marie, and Laurent Naouri will play the role of The Marquis de la Force,

Also in the production, French soprano Sabine Devieilhe will make her highly-anticipated MET debut in the role of Sister Constance, Bass-baritone Piotr Buszewski will make his MET debut as Blanche's brother Chevalier de La Force, and British Lyric Mezzo-soprano Alice Coote will make her role debut as Madame de Croissi.


Considered one of the most successful operas of the later decades of the 20th Century, the philosophical opera is based on the quaysi-historical tale of an order of Carmelite Catholic nuns who were martyred in Paris during the French Revolution's reign of terror.

Written in 1953, Dialogues des Carmélites made its World premiere in Theatro Alla Scala, in Milan in l957 and because of its highly moving plot, the opera was immediately esteemed by the audience and experts. Here we should add that the reason was that the opera is unique, not only because its plot was based in facts, but because its libretto (also written by Poulenc) has profound mystical dimensions.

Its action in the opera takes place between the years l789-l794 in Northern France, in the town of Compiegne, which at the time, was the site of a Carmelite nuns' convent. Its historical basis is based on the facts that after the French Revolution(l789) the revolutionaries were killing the members of the French aristocracy and looting their mansions, and also the convents of Catholic priests and nuns. The plot is based on a true happening: the martyrdom of 16 Carmelite nuns and lay sisters (the name given to young girls who are in the convent learning the how to become Carmelite nuns) that when the revolutionaries looted their convent, took them prisoners and sentenced them to have their heads guillotined, their faith kept them calm, including fearful Blanche) and before they die, (in the opera by execution) volunteer their lives to God, for the restoration of peace in France.


The opera will be sung in French (its original language) but the MET will have Librettos in English, German, and Spanish that their patrons could select as their viewing MET TITLES. The opera will be Conducted by French Conductor Bertrand de Billy,

Those unfamiliar with Dialogues des Carmelites, will find that the libretto of this opera is unique because some of its dialogue,(arias) are not sang, but spoken in recitative, and their subject matter is usually about subject matters that affect our lives. Because of that, listening to the wise answers that the nuns give to Blanche, we too may find peace of mind.

The January 18 and 28 performances of Dialogues des Carmelites will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXMChanel 355. The January 28 performance will be streamed live on the met website at: https://www.metopera.org/.