Dialogue of the Carmelites is an opera by Francois Poulenc, which he started writing in 1953 and completed in 1956. It’s based on a true story of a French convent of nuns who were executed in the waning days of the French Revolution by anticlerical Revolutionary forces. Bocanegra staged her own version of this opera, casting the nuns depicted in the 1953 edition of the catalog “A Guide to the Catholic Sisterhood in the United States.”
The nuns photographed for the book are "costumed" using embroidery, much like cloistered nuns throughout the centuries embellished pages of their prayer books with hand stitching.
The music is composed by David Lang.
The music is sung by Caroline Shaw.
The recording was produced by Jody Elff.
Dialogue of the Carmelites was on view at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA, as part of Bocanegra’s 2018 solo show Poorly Watched Girls.