Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music presents the French opera “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” Wednesday, Oct. 21, through Saturday, Oct. 24 in the Purnell Center’s Philip Chosky Theater. Walter Morales will lead the musical direction of the opera and the stage director is visiting artist Elizabeth Bachman. Performances run nightly at 8 p.m.
Set in a Paris convent, “Dialogues of the Carmelites” is a dramatic tale of personal struggles and redemption in a time of political chaos and uncertainty. Francis Poulenc based his three-act opera on historical events that took place in a Carmelite convent during the French Revolution, when French authorities outlawed and dissolved religious communities throughout France in an effort to exile the Catholic Church. The 16 Carmelite nuns took a vow of martyrdom and continued to practice their faith, leading to their ultimate demise. The highly emotive music portrays an epic battle, suggesting Poulenc’s personal struggle with his own faith.
Carnegie Mellon’s School of Music educates outstanding, intellectually gifted musicians through excellence in performance, creativity, scholarship and pedagogy. The School of Music offers undergraduate degrees in instrumental and vocal performance, composition and keyboard performance. Graduate degrees are offered in performance, composition, conducting and music education. The school also offers a variety of highly acclaimed non-degree programs, such as the Performance Residency Program, the Artist Diploma Program, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Piano Pedagogy, Advanced Flute Studies, Orff Schulwerk and Music Education programs.