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 www.usc.edu/tickets.




Voices

In our time

Archbishop José H. Gomez

As I write, I’ve just read the sad news that 90 Christians have been kidnapped from two villages in Syria. Of course we were all shocked earlier this month by the news that 21 Coptic Christians were executed in Syria — killed, as Pope Francis said, “for the mere fact of being Christians.” 

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March 1, 2015

  • Sunday, March 1

    Special Needs Mass, 10 a.m., Father Maguire Council Hall, 4315 N. Vincent Ave, Covina.Mass for persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information, contact Elizabeth, (909) 599-9833, ebinerfamily@gmail.com.

    Don Bosco Tech Spring Open House, Mass: 10 a.m., Open House: 12-3 p.m., Don Bosco Technical Institute, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. (626) 940-2000. www.boscotech.edu.

    Third Order Lay Carmelite Community Q & A Meeting, 1-4 p.m., St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church, 12930 Hamlin St., North Hollywood. The Order is located throughout the Los Angeles area and open to new membership.  If interested in the ancient tradition of contemplative prayer, community and service, come and have your questions answered. For moreinformation, contact Regional Director Herman Briones, (818) 521-6564.

    Stations of the Cross, 2 p.m., Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Blvd., East Los Angeles. Every Sunday through March 22. (323) 261-3106. 
    http://catholiccemeteriesla.org/stations.

    “Who is this Jesus you see?,” 2-4 p.m., Master Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, 700 N Sunnyside Ave., Sierra Madre. Presented by Dr. Michael Downey. Freewill donation. 

    Families to the Max: Be a Catholic Family, 2-5:30 p.m., Father Kolbe Missionaries of the Immaculata, 531 East Merced Avenue, West Covina. For more information, contact Ann O’Donnell, (626) 917-0040.

    Rosary and Mass for Life, Rosary: 4:30 p.m., Mass: 5 p.m., St. Cornelius Church, 5500 E Wardlow Rd., Long Beach. Contact Sylvia Aimerito (562) 429-1965. Audiogirlministries.com.

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