IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater’s ‘Dialogues of the Carmelites’ unites generations


IU Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater’s ‘Dialogues of the Carmelites’ unites generationsWHAT: “Dialogues of the Carmelites” by Francis PoulencWHEN: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, 13, 19, 20WHERE: Musical Arts CenterTICKETS: Purchase tickets at the Musical Arts Center box office from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, by phone at 812-855-7433 or online at music.indiana.edu/opera. A discounted price is available for all students.VIDEO STREAMING: Via IUMusicLive! Oct. 12-13 only.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEOct. 11, 2018BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – There will be much more going on than meets the eye, and ear, during the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Opera Theater production of Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 20 at the Musical Arts Center.While the story onstage, based on the incredible true journey of a group of nuns during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, is well known, there is another, behind-the-scenes, story that is much less so—but very worth noting.When Virginia Zeani, a superstar soprano for 34 years before joining the voice faculty at the IU Jacobs School of Music, first met French composer Poulenc, in Paris in 1956, she was not impressed: “I thought he was a frivolous person,” she said in her memoir, “My Memories of an Operatic Golden Age.” And when Poulenc asked her to perform in his new opera, “Dialogues des Carmélites,” she was unsure and asked to read the score. However, he was not and convinced her to sing the part of Blanche, the primary role, sight unseen. After finally reading it, she said, “I was not at first enthusiastic. In fact, I was overwhelmed by what I had to do.”Not exactly an auspicious beginning.

A short time later, “Dialogues” made its world premiere at the fabled La Scala, in Milan, on Jan. 26, 1957. Zeani recalled, “The applause at the end was like a huge wave. …

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