24 June 2014 at 9.19pm | 7 Comments
Jonathan Kent’s new production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, starring Kristīne Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann, was relayed live to cinemas across the world on 24 June 2014.
The relay featured a series of backstage films, featuring interviews with members of the cast, conductor Antonio Pappano and director Jonathan Kent.
If you missed out on the night, or just want to find out more about the opera, here they are again:
Antonio Pappano, Kristīne Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann rehearse Manon Lescaut:
Leading soprano Kristīne Opolais and star tenor Jonas Kaufmann both make their role debuts in this production, conducted by Puccini expert Antonio Pappano. ‘[Tony] is singing with us, breathing with us, helping us and carrying us over the most difficult passages,’ says Jonas. ‘He is 100% charged with music - every drop of his blood is passion for music.’
Watch Kristīne and Jonas in rehearsals with Antonio, and find out the challenges behind the roles of Manon and Des Grieux.
Members of the cast and creative team discuss the character of Manon Lescaut (The Royal Opera)
Manon Lescaut, the innocent girl seduced by money and luxury, is a complex character. Although she is the tragic heroin of the opera, she isn’t entirely innocent and her character remains something of a conundrum. ‘[Manon] is willful, capricious, easily seduced by money and easily glamorized by a life of luxury, but at the same time, is a woman who goes to her death with the man she loves,’ says director Jonathan Kent.
Watch members of the cast and creative team, including Antonio Pappano, Kristīne Opolais (Manon Lescaut), Jonas Kaufmann (Des Grieux), Christopher Maltmann (Lescaut), Maurizio Muraro (Gerontes) Benjamin Hulett (Edmondo) and Jonathan Kent (director) discuss their interpretation of her character.
Antonio Pappano on the emotion in Puccini's Manon Lescaut (The Royal Opera)
Puccini’s sumptuous score for Manon Lescaut is richly varied, ranging from youthful ebullience to heartfelt sorrow. Watch Antonio play excerpts from the intermezzo, analysing how Puccini uses melody and orchestration to build up the sorrowful loneliness of Des Grieux.
Antonio Pappano on Des Grieux and Manon's first encounter in Manon Lescaut (The Royal Opera)
When Des Grieux first sees Manon, he is struck by her infinite beauty, crying: ‘My God how beautiful she is’. Elements of the melody in this scene become a theme that recurs throughout the opera. ‘Already, Puccini is using the trademark doubling of the melody sung by the soloists with the violins,’ says Antonio. ‘This is a feature of his work, imprinting the melody in the hearts and mind and ears of the public.’
Watch Antonio plays excerpts of the music from this first encounter, describing how the melody builds and then recurs throughout the opera.
The Royal Opera House Cinema Season relays our performances to over 1,100 cinemas in over 30 countries around the world. Find out more about the productions included in the 2014/15 Season.
This production of Manon Lescaut 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.