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Subject: Re: Dialogues of the Carmelites
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 20 Feb 2018 22:33:29 -0600
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The "anon" blogger is entitled to his/her own opinion, which is what is being expressed.  I'm at the virtual  opposite end of the continuum.  And what difference does it make whether or not one "relates" to any operatic character?  I know of no "modern" opera written since 1950 that is performed as frequently or is as well attended as "Dialogues".  "A dull listening experience"???????  This is an opera that has attracted the likes of Leontyne Price, Joan Sutherland, Denise Douval, Dorothy Kirsten, Jessye Norman, Regine Crespin, Rita Gorr, Shirley Verrett, Maria Ewing, etc.  How many post 1950 operas can make such a claim??????  
> On February 20, 2018 at 10:09 PM Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
> Anon blogger wrote:
> 
> >Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites doesn't at all convince. The unlikeable
> tacky religious kitsch (not even likeable in a camp "good because it's bad"
> way) of the situation and music as well as the poverty of the actual
> musical material makes for a long evening. Though the characters are
> strongly drawn, they are hard to relate to - what are we to make of the
> eliptical and abnormal reasoning of the minds of the devout, whose attitude
> to life and death is so different from our own? Only Soeur Constance is
> really likeable, but because she's so explicitly normal and seems to lack
> the strangeness of the order's religious sentiments (until the ending that
> is). The music in Carmelites makes one almost suspect a confectionary
> misspelling -- sickly sweet and pleasurable in small quantities but
> actually of little nutritious value. There are a few scenes that stick out
> but the lack of real musical invention makes it a dull overall listening
> experience.
> 
> http://capricciomusic.blogspot.com/2011/03/dialogues-des-carmelites.html
> 
> ------------
> 
> Agree that the music is, if not over-sweet, not always very nutritious
> (like Poulenc generally).
> 
> (My understanding is that Poulenc was digging for the real France beneath
> the official lies, and finding Catholicism, aristocracy, the small
> community and self-sacrifice where others see only the regimented terror of
> the modern state)
> 
> Of course it is not at the artistic level of 'Mathis der Maler', 'Doktor
> Faust' or 'From The House of The Dead' (Z mrtvého domu)..... but look what
> has come out of France since then!
> 
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