20 June 2014 at 5.44pm | 10 Comments
Jonathan Kent’s new production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, starring Kristīne Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann, will be relayed live to cinemas across the world at 7pm BST on 24 June. It will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on 1 July at 6.45pm.
Ahead of the screening, download our Royal Opera House Digital Guide, which contains specially selected features to bring your closer to the production.
A starry cast assemble for the premiere of Jonathan Kent’s new production. Jonas Kaufmann and Kristīne Opolais both make debuts in the roles of Des Grieux and Manon, alongside Christopher Maltman (Lescaut) and Maurizio Muraro (Geronte). Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano conducts.
Manon Lescaut follows the story of an innocent girl who is seduced by money and luxury, and pays a terrible price. It is based on Abbé Prévost’s novel L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut, a tragedy that has been the source for numerous adaptations – including at least two operas, a ballet, and numerous film adaptations. Find out more about Abbé Prévost and the original novel.
‘It is an archetypical story of passionate love, set in jeopardy – it is one of those great emotional journeys of a doomed love affair,’ says director Jonathan Kent. ‘Possibly this was Puccini’s earliest and greatest success because of that great soaring, doomed love affair. Musically, it is irresistible and contains some of the most glorious music Puccini ever wrote.’ Watch an interview with Jonathan about the opera.
Jonathan Kent’s production sets Puccini’s tragedy in modern times, drawing parallels between Manon’s story and aspect of the 21st century, commenting on voyeurism and the commercialization of sex.
The production had its world premiere on 17 June 2014, and divided opinion among audience members and critics alike. Read audience reactions to the opening night and add your own review.
After the relay, we’ll be publishing a roundup of tweets about the cinema screening, so share your thoughts using the hashtag #ROHlescaut.
Manon Lescaut will be live in cinemas on 24 June 2014. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.
The production is generously supported by Rolex, with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Susan A Olde OBE, Lord and Lady Laidlaw, Mrs Philip Kan, Marina Kulishova, Mrs Trevor Swete, Quentin Holland, Mercedes T. Bass, Bruce Kovner, the American Friends of Covent Garden and The Manon Lescaut Production Syndicate.