What did you think of our live relay of Jonathan Kent’s new production of Puccini’s tragedy, starring Kristīne Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann?
When Manon meets the young student Des Grieux they fall in love. They elope – but when the elderly Geronte offers Manon a life of wealth and luxury, her head is turned.
Puccini’s publisher tried to prevent him from adapting Abbé Prévost’s L’Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut – Massenet had already created a highly successful opera based on the novel. But Puccini was not to be dissuaded, claiming ‘a woman like Manon can have more than one lover’. Despite a troubled gestation (five librettists were engaged in the project), the premiere of Manon Lescaut in 1893 was Puccini’s first major triumph – a hit with both public and critics. Puccini’s sumptuous, richly-coloured score is characterized by youthful vitality and filled with glorious melodies, from Des Grieux and Manon’s passionate duet ‘Vedete? io son fedele’ to the overwhelming desolation of Manon’s final aria ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’.
- Performed by
- The Royal Opera
Cast sheets are available as PDFs
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The opera - starring Kristīne Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann - will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on 1 July.
Jonathan Kent's new production stars Kristīne Opolais, Christopher Maltman and Jonas Kaufmann.
To find out more visit the Manon Lescaut (2014) production page.