4 June 2014 at 12.30pm | Comment on this article
The opera, set during the turmoil of the French Revolution, was inspired by the brutal execution of the nuns of Compiègne in the 18th century. The final act, which depicts the execution of the nuns, makes for a devastatingly powerful finale. Find out more in our Opera Essentials.
The opera assembles one of the largest casts ever seen at Covent Garden, with 167 people taking to the stage, including 67 actors from a community ensemble. Simon Rattle conducts a cast that includes Sally Matthews, Emma Bell, Sophie Koch, Alan Oke and Thomas Allen. Watch an interview with Simon Rattle about the appeal of Poulenc’s masterpiece.
Other upcoming Radio 3 broadcasts from Covent Garden include Manon Lescaut, Ariadne auf Naxos and Maria Stuarda. Find out more about summer broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.
The production, originally from De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam, is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, The Taylor Family Foundation and The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.