Painful death scene doesn't deter soprano Karita Mattila

This image released by the Metropolitan Opera shows soprano Karita Mattila, center, Paul Corona, left, and Karen Cargill during a performance of Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera via AP)

NEW YORK — The prospect of dying in agony onstage doesn't faze Karita Mattila, who will be doing just that at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

The Finnish soprano is appearing as the First Prioress in Poulenc's opera "Dialogues of the Carmelites." She had never performed the role but agreed to take on the part because, she says, "I just thought it would be quite an adventure."

Her character dies of cancer after only two scenes, but her painful death makes an impact on audiences that lasts throughout the performance.

The revival opens Friday for three performances, the last of them to be broadcast live in HD to movie theaters worldwide on May 11.

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