Natalie Dessay's musicianship is sublime. It is her commitment to the text -- and thus, to the heart and soul of the character she communicates -- that stimulates and mobilizes her vocal delivery.
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The original was considered exceptionally daring back in 1924, with its allusions to sexual hijinks among the demi-mondaines and its depiction of bisexuality. In 2013, these themes risk putting a hip Bay Area crowd to sleep.
One of the most harrowing final scenes in all of opera is the ending of Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites," when the nuns condemned by the French...
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