My first stage death occurred portraying a nun in Francis Poulenc’s Dialague of the Carmelites. Death by guillotine. What a way to go. I remember singing that beautiful and haunting final Salve Regina as one by one the Carmelite nuns are guillotined. Francis Poulenc, the French composer and member of les six, was a composer of songs, operas, chamber works, orchestral compositions, ballets, and piano works. He has often been praised for his glorious vocal writing and significant contributions to French art song. In honor of his birthday, here are a few highlights of his magnificent work.
The Salve Regina from the final scene of Dialogue of the Carmelites:
Final Scene from La voix humaine
Les Biches ballet