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Ensemble

A terrific evening

'Dialogues des Carmélites' at English National Opera,
reviewed by ROBERT HUGILL

 

Phyllida Lloyd's production of Poulenc's The Dialogues of the Carmelites was first seen at the London Coliseum in 1999. In English National Opera's current revival, the stylish production wears its age well; Lloyd and her designer, Anthony Ward, create a series of stylised, timeless images, using little apart from some white screens to evoke the closed-in atmosphere of the Carmelite Convent.

Orla Boylan (front, centre) in 'The Carmelites' at English National Opera. Photo © 2005 Stephen Vaughan
Orla Boylan (front, centre) in 'The Carmelites' at English National Opera. Photo © 2005 Stephen Vaughan

Only two cast members are left from the original 1999 cast, Josephine Barstow as Mère Marie and Ryland Davies as the chaplain; but with the opera's requirement for a large cast of female voices there is a sense that any performance is an occasion. ENO has assembled an attractive group of soloists for this revival with Catrin Wyn-Davies as Blanche, Felicity Palmer as the Old Prioress, Orla Boylan as the New Prioress and Sarah Tynan as Sister Constance.

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Copyright © 20 October 2005 Robert Hugill, London UK

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