Winston-Salem Symphony to Perform Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites

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by Carissa Joines

Rarely performed Opera to include guest artists and the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale

The Winston-Salem Symphony, Robert Moody Music Director, will present Classics Series concerts featuring a performance of Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 3 p.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Stevens Center.

dialogues_of_the_carmelitesThis haunting and beautiful opera, depicting the communion and courage of Carmelite nuns facing fierce persecution during the French Revolution, is not performed often, making this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience this remarkable piece of music.

“I am very excited to be mounting this production during my 10th anniversary year with the Winston-Salem Symphony,” said Moody. “Dialogues of the Carmelites is an extraordinary piece of music, a heartbreaking story combined with an achingly beautiful score. It is not performed often, so this is a unique chance for Winston-Salem audiences to hear this masterpiece. It’s something that should not be missed.”

Poulenc composed Dialogues of the Carmelites between 1953 and 1956. The opera deals with profound moral and theological issues and is set in 1794 during the Reign of Terror in France. It is based on a true story, the martyrdom of Carmelite nuns who refused to renounce their faith. All of the characters are based on historical figures, except the central character Blanche de la Force.

The production of the Dialogues of the Carmelites will be the first time the Symphony has staged an opera in this way. Under the stage direction of Carey Kugler and the musical direction of Maestro Moody, guest artists and the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, Dr. Carole Ott, Director, will perform in costume with limited sets onstage with the Symphony. The guest artists include Sarah Jane McMahon as Blanche de la Force, Jill Gardner as Madame Lidoine, Mary Gayle Greene as Madame de Croissy, Troy Cook as the Marquis de la Force, and Daniel Stein as the Chevalier de la Force.
A “Music Lovers’ Luncheon,” a fun and informative pre-concert lunch with Maestro Moody and additional guests will take place Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 at noon at The Piedmont Club at 200 West Second Street in downtown Winston-Salem. The luncheon is a great opportunity to learn more about the concert in a relaxed atmosphere. Reservations are requested for the Music Lovers’ Luncheon and can be made by calling 336.724.7077. Club membership is not required.

This concert and the Winston-Salem Symphony are sponsored by Season Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo; Classics Series Presenting Sponsor Bell, Davis & Pitt, P.A., as well as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.

The Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is located at 405 W. Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Tickets range from $15 – $67 and are available in advance by calling the Symphony Box Office at 336-464-0145 or online HERE.


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