27 Feb-12 March 2004. Conducted by Riccardo Muti, directed by Robert Carsen, with Christopher Robertson, Andrea Rost, Gordon Gietz, Anja Silja.
Carsen will be showing us another example of his eclectic work at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan, where he will join forces with Riccardo Muti to stage Dialogues des Carmlites by Francis Poulenc, 27 Feb-12 March. It is a repeat of the 2000 performance, with the same director and conductor, but with major changes in the vocal parts: singers will include Andrea Rost, Elisabete Matos, Barbara Dever and Anja Silja. Four years ago Mutis vibrant, intense conducting, with its attention to orchestral dynamics, proved popular, as did Carsens staging, which was bare and dramatic, making use of clever lighting. The climax was the operas finale, where Mutis musical direction was more moving than ever, and where Carsen had the inspired idea to have the redeemed Carmelites die lying on the ground, their faces turned heavenwards, while one solitary nun remained standing, her arms spread wide like a crucified angel. It was a finale that did justice to the music of Poulenc, that has justly taken its place among the great masterpieces of opera. Paolo Di Nicola