CCM's Opera Series presents Poulenc’s harrowing 'Dialogues of the Carmelites'

Based on a true story, the revered opera runs Nov. 18-20 in Corbett Auditorium

Story by CCM Graduate Student Lucy Evans

The UC College-Conservatory of Music opens its 2022-23 Opera Series with Francis Poulenc’s 1953 masterpiece, Dialogues of the Carmelites. One of the most revered operas of the 20th-century, this profound drama runs November 18-20 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. Guest artist Christopher Larkin conducts with stage direction by CCM Professor Robin Guarino. Tickets are on sale now through the CCM Box Office.

Based on the true story of the Martyrs of Compiègne, the opera follows the fictional aristocrat Blanche de la Force as she seeks refuge and purpose in a Carmelite convent during the French Revolution. However, the political tumult outside the cloistered community proves unavoidable, and Blanche and the other Carmelites are forced to grapple with their faith in the face of persecution and death. 

The libretto, adapted from a play by Georges Bernanos, is structured in a series of 12 scenes. Rather than following a traditional sequence of arias and ensembles, the characters converse with one another in melodies and rhythms which are at once lyrical and speech-like. This approach highlights the hauntingly beautiful choral sections, in which the voices of the convent evoke religious hymns and chants.

Though framed within a highly dramatic scenario, the music and libretto work together to tell the harrowing story in a deeply human way. Within Poulenc’s distinct musical language, the characters wrestle with complex psychological and philosophical ideas: faith, duty, grace, and ultimately, martyrdom.

Dialogues of the Carmelites' estimated runtime is three hours and 6 minutes with an intermission. The opera will be sung in French with English supertitles.

Preview Photos

All photography by Mark Lyons. View complete cast and crew credits here.

Tickets for Dialogues of the Carmelites can be purchased online through CCM’s box office, over the phone at 513-556-4183 or in person at the CCM Box Office in the atrium of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

Dialogues of the Carmelites

Music and Libretto by Frances Poulenc
Libretto by Emmet Lavery

  • Conductor | Christopher Larkin
  • Director | Robin Guarino
  • Scenic Designer  | Mark Halpin
  • Lighting Designer  | Alaina Pizzoferrato
  • Costume Designer | Iris Harmon
  • Sound Designer  | Alena Milos
  • Production Stage Manager  | Rosie Burns Pavlik
  • Props Manager  | Amber Slater
  • Marquis de la Force | Erik Nordstrom
  • Chevalier de la Force | Aaron McKone *, Manfred Anaya ^
  • Blanche de la Force | Gabrielle Turgeon *, Malone Blaich ^
  • Thierry | Patrick Kelly
  • Madame de Croissy | Kendra Beasley *, Salleigh Harvey ^
  • Sister Constance of St. Denis | Candace Williams *, Ashlyn Rock ^
  • Mother Marie of the Incarnation | Tess Klibanoff *, Ariana Maubach ^
  • Monsieur Javelinot | Joseph O’Shea
  • Madame Lidoine | Felicity Tomkins *, Saane Halaholo ^
  • Mother Jeanne of the Child Jesus | Isabel Lee
  • Sister Mathilde | Rachael Bell
  • Chaplain of the Convent | Logan Wagner *, Alex Gushrowski ^
  • First Commissioner | Tristan Tournaud *, Carlos Ahrens ^
  • Second Commissioner | John Potvin
  • Officer | Will Ryan
  • Jailer | Nathan Schludecker
  • Mother Gerald | Hyein Hong
  • Sister Claire | Jaeyoon Choi
  • Sister Antoine | Natalia Adame
  • Sister Catherine | Lauryn Davis
  • Sister Felicity | Maren Hrivnak
  • Sister Gertrude | Junyue Gong
  • Sister Alice | Grace Graham
  • Sister Valentine | Ahhyun Baek
  • Sister Anne of the Cross | Olivia Knutsen
  • Sister Martha | Sarah Scofield
  • Sister St. Charles | Holly Thiemann
  • Chorus of Citizens and Officers | Lauren Albano, Henry Benson, Zachary Burnham, Reed Demangone, Ryan Henry, Rachel Kobernick, Emma Marhefka, Maya McGuire, Lea Nayak, Erik Nordstrom, Joseph O’Shea, Su Hyeon Park, John Potvin, Jadyn Riggs, Nathan Schludecker, Grant Shields, Nia Spaulding, Emilio Vasquez

Thursday/Saturday Performances
^ Friday Performance

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20


Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets are $35.50-$39.50; student and group discounts available. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online.

Learn about additional ticket options for current CCM students.

Directions and Parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. For detailed driving directions, visit

Parking is available in UC's CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. 

CCM OnStage patrons can add pre-paid parking to their checkout carts when purchasing tickets. Pre-paid parking is date/performance specific. CCM Garage parking rates for a performance or special event is usually available for $10-15. Learn more about parking at UC's CCM Garage.

For additional information on parking at UC, please visit

Louise Dieterle Nippert Trust
Scholarship and Resident Artist Sponsor
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Sponsor
The Corbett Endowment at CCM
Dance Department Sponsor
All-Steinway School Sponsor
Louise H. & David S. Ingalls Foundation, Inc.
Community Partners
The Joseph and Frances Jones Poetker Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation, Ritter & Randolph, LLC, Corporate Counsel
Visiting Artists & Thinking About Music Sponsor
CCMpower: Friends and Alumni Fueling the Future of the Arts 
The Strader Fund at the Greater Cincinnati Foundation
CCM Digital Sponsors
Dr. & Mrs. Carl G. Fischer 
Greg Mathein 
Gary & Barb Cummins 
Jim & Linda Miller 
George & Carroll Roden
Musical Theatre Department Sponsors
Genevieve Smith
Opera Production Sponsor
Rafael and Kimberly de Acha
Opera D’Arte Sponsor
An Anonymous Donor
Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander
Mrs. William A. Friedlander
Dr. Randolph L. Wadsworth
Judith Schonbach Landgren and Peter Landgren
Mr. & Mrs. Harry H. Santen
Elizabeth C.B. Sittenfeld
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman
Mrs. Theodore W. Striker
Mrs. Harry M. Hoffheimer
Ariel Quartet Sponsors
Jan Rogers
Willard and Jean Mulford Charitable Fund of the Cambridge Charitable Foundation
Choral Studies Sponsors
  Classical Guitar Sponsor

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph W. Hirschhorn
Orchestral Sponsor
Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation
Starling Pre-Collegiate Sponsor
Starling Strings Sponsor
Dr. Timothy E. and Janet L. Johnson
Thom Miles and Roberta Gary
Organ Department Sponsors
Keyboard Club of Cincinnati
Louis and Susan Meisel
Piano Department Sponsors
Kevin and Nancy Rhein
   Wind Studies Sponsor

Edward Donovan and Cheryl Carter
Jeff Thomas Catering
The Castleberry Family
Paula Boggs Muething & Brian Muething
Patti Myers & Alan Flaherty
Trish & Rick Bryan
Graeter’s Ice Cream 
eat well celebrations and feasts 
The Summit Hotel
Event Sponsors
Buddy Rogers Music
LINKS Sponsor
Sponsors listed as of August 30, 2022
Headshot of Lucy Evans

Lucy Evans

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Lucy Evans is a master’s student studying Vocal Performance at CCM. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and was recently an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera.

A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio. All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, visit  

Featured image at the top: A promotional image for CCM's production of Dialogues of the Carmelites.

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