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Watch: Ermonela Jaho on Manon

The soprano discusses the appealing - and deeply flawed - heroine of Massenet’s opera.

By Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer)

13 January 2014 at 2.37pm | 1 Comment

Laurent Pelly’s production of Manon, in which Ermonela Jaho sings the title role, opens on 14 January.

Massenet’s classic opera follows the story of Manon Lescaut, a beautiful, impulsive young woman who falls passionately in love as an innocent teenager, before sacrificing it all in favour of a life of  riches and luxury.

‘The appeal of Manon’s story comes from her human desire to have everything,’ says Ermonela. ‘She wants fame, she wants money, she wants love – everything!’

Massenet was one of the great melodists of 19th-century opera, and Manon contains some of his finest arias and duets. The title role is richly varied, providing some gorgeous arias and great duets. Find out more about Manon’s musical highlights.

‘In Manon you have to play a lot and it is a challenge for me emotionally,’ says Ermonela. ‘In the last Act especially, when she is talking to Des Grieux, it is impossible to stay cold. I am always struggling to control my tears!’

Laurent Pelly’s production is set in Massenet’s Paris, the Belle Époque of the nineteenth century – an era of glamour and excess when courtesans thrived. Find our more in our Opera Essentials series.

Ermonela was also recently featured on BBC Radio 3’s In TuneManon runs from 14 January to 4 February 2014. Tickets are still available.

By Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer)

13 January 2014 at 2.37pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Laurent Pelly, Ermonela Jaho, Jaho, Manon, massenet, opera, Production, Royal Opera

This article has 1 comment

  1. Tony Boyd-Williams responded on 14 January 2014 at 8:37am Reply

    Another splendid ROH interview. Very many thanks! As I have suggested in a previous comment ,Ermonela's interpretation of Manon is an operatic treat as is the splendid production by Laurent Pelly

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