The production was co-commissioned by NYCO and Glimmerglass Opera, and premiered at Glimmerglass in the summer of 2002.
Thompson, a theater director and playwright, has directed opera at La Scala, Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, and elsewhere. He last directed at New York City Opera in 2000, when he staged Porgy and Bess.
Poulenc's 1957 opera tells the story of the aristocratic Blanche de la Force, who takes refuge in a Carmelite nunnery during the French Revolution. The composer's libretto was based, by way of Gertrud von le Fort's novella Die Letzte am Schaffott and a 1947 film adaptation, on the true story of 17 nuns who were executed during the Reign of Terror. NYCO performs the opera in English translation.
NYCO's cast includes mezzo-sopranos Rinat Shaham and Joyce Castle as Blanche and Madame De Croissy. George Manahan, the company's music director, conducts. The production returns on October 17, 21, 23, 27, and 29.