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


Things beyond our imagination

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

Recently, at an academic dinner, I was sitting across the table from a nuclear scientist. At one point, I asked him this question: Do you believe that there’s human life on other planets? His answer surprised me: “As a scientist, no, I don’t believe there’s human life on another planet.


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October 3, 2015

  • Saturday, October 3

    “The Life Beyond the Veil of Death,” 12:30 a.m.-4 p.m., SCRC Center, 9795 Cabrini Dr., Burbank. $15. (818) 771-1361, 

    Blessing of the Animals, 9 a.m., St. Pancratius Church, 3519 St. Pancratius Pl., Lakewood. Water and treats available. (562) 634-6111.

    Public Square Rosary, 12-1 p.m., Torrance Crossroads, 24427 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance. Look for the American flag and an “America Needs Fatima” banner. For more information, contact Linda Neal, (310) 539-2211.

    Blessing of the Animals, 2 p.m., St. Francis High School, 200 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge. Pet owners throughout the community are invited to bring their pets. All pets should be on a leash or easily contained and will receive a special gift bag. The blessing is held near the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, to honor his love of nature and all God’s creatures. For more information, call Joe Kim, (818) 790-0325, ext. 626.

    “Enchanted Evening,” Silent Auction: 5:30 p.m., Dinner: 7 p.m., Palos Verdes Country Club, 3301 Via Campesina, Palos Verdes Estates. Hosted by the Auxiliary of the Little Sisters of the Sick Poor. $175. (310) 548-0625 ext. 211. 

    Movie Screening: "Courage to Love," 6-9 p.m., St. Agatha Hall, 2646 S Mansfield Ave., Los Angeles. "Courage to Love" is the story of Venerable Henriette Delille, SHF. Louisiana food, books and t-shirts will be available for sale, with all proceeds going to the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information, call Enrique (323) 935-8127.

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