The heirs of composer Francis Poulenc are up in arms over Bavarian Opera’s revival this month of Dialogues des Carmélites, in a 2010 production by Dmitri Cherniakov which deviates significantly from the original plot.
In particular they object to a gas explosion that kills the nuns in the climactic scene, instead of execution.
Last month, the heirs won a French court order prohibiting distribution of the DVD and now they have told Munich to take down the show or face further action.
Munich’s response: ‘The stage direction must have the freedom to deviate from history. Thus the work is not disfigured, but rather its ideas are depicted from today’s viewpoint.’ Our man in the wings says the company is also supporting the DVD distributors in its appeal against the French judgement.
Would Poulenc have minded? Who knows…. he died in 1963.