[Met Performance] CID:256060

Dialogues des Carmélites
Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, January 1, 1979

In English

Dialogues des Carmélites (9)
Francis Poulenc | Georges Bernanos
Blanche de la Force
Maria Ewing

Madame de Croissy
Régine Crespin

Madame Lidoine
Leona Mitchell

Mother Marie
Gwynn Cornell

Sister Constance
Betsy Norden

Mother Jeanne
Jean Kraft

Sister Mathilde
Batyah Godfrey Ben-David

Marquis de la Force
Jerome Hines

Chevalier de la Force
Raymond Gibbs

James Atherton

Nico Castel

Gene Boucher

First Commissioner
Charles Anthony

Second Commissioner
Russell Christopher

Philip Booth

Barbara Bystrom

Suzanne Der Derian

Mary Fercana

Ann Florio

Lorraine Keane

Elyssa Lindner

Linda Mays

Teresa Robinson

Ann Sessions

Constance Webber

Anna-Marie White

Michel Plasson

Review 1:

Review of Robert Jacobson in Opera News

December and early January at the Met concentrated on revivals with new and familiar faces. Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites" (seen Jan. 1) proved most welcome, for John Dexter's stunning staging seemed even tauter and more brilliant this time, having solved the problems of the final scene at the guillotine with glowing results, while Michel Plasson's effective conducting explored the work's humanity and drama. Maria Ewing's ever interesting Blanche has now become a magnificent essay of haunting depth, nuance and inner anguish, her lyric mezzo seeming to soar on top, a new-found maturity and depth making her portrayal cherishable. Regine Crespin memorably recreated Madame de Croissy with her chilling death scene. Newcomer Leona Mitchell's rich-hued, radiant, expansive soprano proved ideal for Madame Lidone, a role she played with lovely modesty, simplicity and warmth. Jerome Hines' expert diction and commanding bass made much of the Marquis, while Betsy Norden's Constance, Raymond Gibbs' Chevalier and James Atherton's

Chaplain contributed. The single sour note was sounded by Gwynn Cornell (who had made her debut as Klytämnestra in "Elektra" on the Dec 30 broadcast) as Mother Marie, for she relied on loud high tones, the rest of the voice emerging lean and hoarse, and her portrayal looked as if she had seen one too many women's prison films. Despite this, "Carmelites" remains an extraordinarily moving, human work of

drama and ideas, here played a study of fear in a black void, its idiom more refreshing twenty later than at its premiere, strengthened by the test of time. One rarely spends so meaningful an evening in the theater.

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