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The Met: Live in HD
Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites

Event Category:
Saturday, May 11
12PM - 3:30PM
$22 ($20 Members); $15 Students

Eligible for Student Rush Tickets

Tickets for all 2018-19 Met Opera screenings will be on sale for Guild Hall Members on Monday, July 16 through the Box Office only – visit us in person or call us at 631-324-4050 between 11am and 5pm through Labor Day.
Beginning Wednesday, July 18 at midnight, tickets will be on sale to the general public and will be available for purchase online as well as the link below.
Tickets available at GuildHall.org; Reception desk during Museum hours or by calling 631-324-0806; Box Office 2 hours prior to curtain at 631-324-4050; Theatermania.com; or 1-866-811-4111
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12:00 p.m. ET / Approx. runtime: 3:29 [1 Intermission]

Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Isabel Leonard (Blanche de la Force), Adrianne Pieczonka (Mme Lidoine), Erin Morley (Constance), Karen Cargill (Mère Marie), Karita Mattila (First Prioress), David Portillo (Chevalier de la Force), Dwayne Croft (Marquis de la Force)


Paris, April 1789. The first signs of the French Revolution are beginning to shake the country. The Marquis de la Force and his son, the Chevalier, are worried about Blanche, the Chevalier’s fearful, nervous sister, whose carriage has been held up by a mob on her way home. When Blanche arrives she makes light of the incident, but her anxiety is revealed when a servant’s shadow frightens her as she leaves the room. Shaken, she returns to tell her father that she has made up her mind to become a nun.

Weeks later at the Carmelite convent in Compiègne, Blanche is interviewed by Madame de Croissy, the aged and ailing prioress, who makes it clear to Blanche that the convent is a house of prayer, not a refuge. The prioress is touched by Blanche’s resolve to embrace her new life.

Blanche and young Sister Constance discuss their fear of death, which Constance claims to have overcome. Blanche admits her envy of her companion’s straightforward and easygoing nature. Constance shocks Blanche by telling her that she knows they will both die young and on the same day.

Madame de Croissy is lying on her deathbed, struggling to appear calm. She blesses Blanche and consigns her, as the youngest member of the order, to the care of the loyal Mère Marie. The prioress confesses her fear in the hour of death, then she falls back lifeless.


That night in the chapel, Constance and Blanche keep vigil by the prioress’s bier. Blanche is overcome by fear and about to run off, when Mère Marie appears. Realizing that Blanche is genuinely afraid she tries to calm her.

Constance hopes that Mère Marie will be the new prioress. She tells Blanche that she wonders why a god-fearing person like Madame de Croissy had to die such an agonizing death. Perhaps, she says, people don’t die for themselves but for others. Someone else will be surprised one day to find death easy.

Madame Lidoine has been appointed the new prioress. In the chapter room, she addresses the convent, counseling patience and humility. A visitor is announced—it is the Chevalier, Blanche’s brother, who is about to flee the country. He urges Blanche to leave the convent and return to their father. Blanche replies that her duty is to her sisters.

In the sacristy, the chaplain, forbidden to perform his duties, celebrates his last mass. The nuns discuss the fear that has grabbed the country and Mère Marie wonders if self-sacrifice will be their destiny. Madame Lidoine reminds them that martyrs are not chosen by their own will, only by God’s. Knocking is heard and the sounds of an angry crowd. Two Commissioners enter and tell the sisters that they have been expelled from the convent. One of them, speaking quietly to Mère Marie, adds he will do what he can to help them get away safely. One of the sisters gives Blanche a figurine of the Christ Child. When revolutionary cries are heard from outside, Blanche nervously drops the figure, breaking it. She is horrified by this omen.


In the devastated chapel, Mère Marie suggests in Madame Lidoine’s absence that they all take a vow of martyrdom by unanimous decision. Noting Blanche’s reaction, the others suspect she will vote against it. When the secret ballot reveals one dissenter, Constance claims it was she and asks to reverse her vote so the vow can proceed. Blanche, afraid to live or to die, runs away. The sisters are led from the convent.

Blanche is forced to work as a servant in the ransacked mansion of her father, who has been sent to the guillotine. Mère Marie finds her there to take her back to the sisters. On the streets, Blanche learns that the nuns have been arrested.

At the Conciergerie prison, Madame Lidoine joins the sisters in their vow of martyrdom. Constance says that she has dreamed of Blanche’s return. A jailer enters and reads the death sentence. Madame Lidoine blesses the sisters. When Mère Marie learns from the chaplain that the nuns will die, she wants to join them, but the chaplain reminds her that it is for God to decide whether or not she will be a martyr.

A crowd has gathered on the Place de la Révolution. The Carmelites walk towards the guillotine, led by Madame Lidoine and singing the Salve Regina. With each stroke of the blade, their voices are cut off one by one, finally leaving only Constance. On her way to the scaffold, she sees Blanche step up from the crowd, take up the chant, and follow her to her death.

Event Sponsors

The simulcasts at Guild Hall are made possible in part through the generosity of: 
Grand Tier: The Ellen and James S. Marcus Endowment for Musical Programming, 
Ann Cestone in memory of her sister Gloria, Phyllis Davis, Louise Phanstiel, The East Hampton Star 
Dress Circle: Norma Giorgetti in memory of Mary-Anne Szabaga, Barbara Horgan, Patti Kenner, Judy and Alex Laughlin, Jim Potter, Maryam Seley, Anita Sheldon, Norbert Weissberg in memory of Dr. Josef Weissberg 
Balcony Circle: Susan L. Blair, Maureen Bluedorn Frederic Cammann, Diane and Bill Dreher, Harriet Edwards, Ernest C. Leatherwood, Jr., Joan and Robert Osborne, Irene and Sidney Silverman, Veronica Stephens, Mary Stone, Sandra Thorn, Peter Van Hattum in memory of Harold K. Simmons, Anese Young, Jeannette and H. Peter Kriendler Charitable Trust  
Family Circle (*Gold): Julia Winston Adams, Paulette and Sanford Balsam, Carolyn and Gioacchino Balducci*, Gabrielle Bamberger*, Joanne Canary, Bonnie and Bob Cooperman*, Ann and George Davis*, James A. Fox*, Dr. and Mrs. Paul Garson, Francine Gluckman, Burton Greenhouse, Phyllis Kessler, Marsha Kranes, Robert F. Luckey*, Joan and Walter Marter, Marjorie A. Ogilvie, Carolyn Preische, Marcia Previti and Peter Gumpel *, David Rey, Connie and Larry Randolph, Beverly and Jerome Siegel, Nancy and Maurice Skurnik, Patricia and Andrew Steffan*, Jane Wood* 
Donations made to Guild Hall’s Met Opera Broadcast series in memory of Andy JacobyanskyNorman Abell, Monika and Bill Akin, Barbara Alexander, Linda and Kenneth Brown, Thomas Buehler and Rosemarie Schiller, Nancy and Paul Buscemi, Robert Chaloner and Oscar Mandes, Ellen and Charles Collins, Jane and Bruce Collins, Carol and Tom Deane, Maria Dolecka, East Hampton Healthcare Foundation, Peter Gamby and Julie Small-Gamby, Eva and Walter Looss, Ellen and Arnie Jacobs, Carol Elaine Peterson and Richard Kahn, Elaine Peterson and Richard Kahn, Lynn and Alan Kaplan, Judy and Alex Laughlin, Suse and Peter Lowenstein, Linda and Lawrence Miller, Claire and Peter Odell, Mary Ann and Robert Stanutz, Susan and Gil Steckowski, Laura Stein and Eugene Wolsk, Florence Stone, the Symer-Rafferty Family, Patricia and Michael Tuths, and Joseph Wood   
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