USC hosts ‘Dialogues of the Carmelites’ April 25-28

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“Dialogues of the Carmelites,” Francis Poulenc’s opera of a young woman’s spiritual journey from fear to faith, will be presented April 25-28 by the USC Thornton Opera Program and USC Thornton Symphony.

Written by Poulenc immediately after World War II, the opera is based on historical events at the monastery of Carmelite nuns in Compiègne, France, in the wake of the French Revolution, at the time of state seizure of the monastery's assets — events which ultimately led to execution by guillotine for the nuns.

The opera traces a fictional path and centers on the life of young Blanche de la Force, who with her fellow sisters are challenged to renounce their religion in order to survive — or to make the ultimate sacrifice by remaining true to their beliefs. The audience is likewise challenged to consider their own beliefs, and how far they are willing to go to defend them.

Originally set during the French Revolution (approximately 1789-94), “Dialogues” also has been reworked to be set in Nazi-controlled Europe, when persecutions of priests and religious took place. The opera had its world premiere in January 1957 in Italian at La Scala in Milan; the original French version took place in June of that year in Paris; and its first English-language presentation was in September 1957 in San Francisco.

Performances will be held at USC’s University Park Campus Bing Theatre near Exposition Park south of downtown Los Angeles. Performances are scheduled April 25-27, 8 p.m., and April 28, 2 p.m. General admission is $18, $12 for seniors and non-USC students. For information, call (213) 740-4672 or visit www.usc.edu/tickets.




Voices

Easter and beyond

Anne Hansen

We move quickly from our major religious holidays each year. It’s not intentional. Life hurries along and as soon as the sun sets on one holiday the next is being touted by merchants looking to sell us whatever the next big day brings. To remain in the spirit of the religious holiday — in this case Easter — takes deliberate intention.

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Events

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April 26, 2015

  • Sunday, April 26

    Special Needs Mass, 10 a.m., Father Maguire Council Hall, 4315 N. Vincent Ave, Covina.Mass for persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information, contact Elizabeth, (909) 599-9833, ebinerfamily@gmail.com.

    Reconsecration Mass with Archbishop Gomez, 12 p.m., Our Lady of the Bright Mount Polish Church, 3424 W Adams Blvd., Los Angeles.

    90th Anniversary Celebration with Mass and Reception, 2 p.m., Our Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Community, 2060 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 664-2111. www.omogc.org.

    Wine Tasting for a Song, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Salt Creek Grille Restaurant, Monarch Bay Plaza, 32801 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point. $35/person. $25/person for subscribers. Sponsored by the de Angelis Vocal Ensemble Board of Directors. Featuring hors d’oeuvres, wine from Dragonette Cellars in Santa Barbara and a wine auction.

     

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