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  • Your Reaction: What did you think of Puccini's Manon Lescaut?

Your Reaction: What did you think of Puccini's Manon Lescaut?

Sondra Radvanovsky and Aleksandrs Antonenko star in the first revival of Jonathan Kent’s thought-provoking Royal Opera production.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

23 November 2016 at 1.14pm | 18 Comments

Press Reviews:
Evening Standard ★★★
The Stage ★★★
The Telegraph ★★★
What's On Stage ★★★
The Times ★★

What did you think of Manon Lescaut?
Let us know via the comments below.

Manon Lescaut runs 22 November — 12 December 2016. Tickets are still available.

By Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media))

23 November 2016 at 1.14pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Aleksandrs Antonenko, by Jonathan Kent, Manon Lescaut, Production, Puccini, Reviews, Royal Opera, Sondra Radvanovsky, twitter, your reaction

This article has 18 comments

  1. Borech responded on 24 November 2016 at 11:39am Reply

    Singing by the principals, very good and committed. Brilliantly conducted by Tony Pappano and played by the Orchestra.. Hearing the Intermezzo was worth the ticket price, alone!

    The production didn't seem to make any more sense than it did two years ago, when new.

  2. John Hind responded on 25 November 2016 at 9:55pm Reply

    Great to hear Sondra again, lovely controlled singing, magnificent in the love duet, Hope we can see her again soon in a more sympathetic production

  3. Roger Taylor responded on 27 November 2016 at 12:06am Reply

    Saw Manon Lescaut on 26th November. Absolutely fantastic singing, conducting and orchestral playing, illustrating how Puccini's writing was quite "symphonic", and influenced by Wagner. Sondra Radvanovsky's singing itself was worth the ticket price. The production was very visual and at times stunning. The updating worked reasonably well and was thought provoking. However the visual messages often being quite brutal sometimes did not fit with what is basically a love story.

  4. John Craggs responded on 27 November 2016 at 12:35am Reply

    A brilliant show. A very topical subject of Rags to Riches to Rags.
    Fabulous performances and a wonderful score conducted by Antonio Pappano.
    Seen it twice. Will definitely be going again.

  5. This was billed as thought-provoking and it did provoke me to think why was I watching such a dreadful production? Good cast, sometimes drowned out by the orchestra, bizarre staging and very difficult to understand the story, I'm glad I'd seen the ballet beforehand. Another one for my 'don't go again list'!

  6. Chiaki Ohashi responded on 28 November 2016 at 6:59am Reply

    Jonathan Kent can ignore the Telegraph and be very proud of his achievements. This one is here to stay.

  7. Caroline Donnison responded on 30 November 2016 at 12:17am Reply

    Absolutely loved the vocal performances - a privilege to be there for such stunning talents - but the setting just didn't deliver ... particularly Act IV - how does a distreesed flyover equate to dusty plains?

  8. Graham Thomas responded on 30 November 2016 at 1:36pm Reply

    Wonderful singing particularly from the leads and gorgeous playing undermined by the crassness and vulgarity of the production. The plot was rendered incomprehensible and the visual ugliness of the whole thing and the final act in particular beggared belief. There is nothing thought provoking here - it is totally overworked and increasingly unpalatable. But well done to the cast and orchestra for what the pleasure they gave. Best watched with eyes firmly closed.

  9. David Smalley responded on 1 December 2016 at 8:15pm Reply

    We really loved this performance (on 26th), and the whole experience at the ROH on our first visit. We loved the rich and expressive playing of the orchestra with AntonioPappano - thank you ROH.

  10. J.C. responded on 2 December 2016 at 4:44pm Reply

    Vu le 26.11. Les chanteurs étaient excellents, Sondra Radvanovsky sublime comme toujours, la direction d'orchestre sans reproche. La mise en scène n'est pas nouvelle ; difficile de moderniser intelligemment : acte 2 génial, acte 3 raté. Il faut y aller quand même !

  11. DEREK SALTER responded on 3 December 2016 at 6:27am Reply

    A challenging and thought-provoking production. For me it worked for most of it - especially the last act - coming to the end of the road of being 'people trafficked'. But the sound and singing was terrific. Especially Sondra Radvanovsky. I was fortunate to see her live at the Met in two of the Donizetti tudor queens last season and to hear her in something so completely different and equally impressive was wonderful

  12. Georgi Christov responded on 3 December 2016 at 4:03pm Reply

    Sondra Radvanovsky sang amazingly. The end love scene was one to die for. Papano's conducting strong and matching as usual.

  13. Coppelia responded on 3 December 2016 at 5:12pm Reply

    Enjoyed it last night. Dulcet toned Massimo Giordano was fine as the stand-in, if a bit overpowered by excellent Radvanovsky. Luis Gomes's colourful singing as Edmondo stood out in Act I and like Levente Molnar, his acting projected to the cheap seats which I always appreciate. A vividly designed and audacious reimagining which I'd give three and a half stars with last night's cast and happily watch again.

  14. Peter Stephen responded on 6 December 2016 at 9:47pm Reply

    Loved the singing and music as ever. But the art of transporting the audience to another place has to include a visual component too.In this case I found only distraction and confusion. The boudoir scene was embarrassing and juvenile. The last act was a wasted opportunity because the audience could not share the experience. I found myself reacting to the clumsiness of the set rather than the torment of the lovers. I long for a complete experience from the ROH but sadly not this time.

  15. Martin Duchesne responded on 9 December 2016 at 10:54am Reply

    Jonathan Kent's production is inspired and left me with the idea that the souls of the two lovers literally dried up as a result of the modern day cynicism of reality TV and mob justice in our modern day, beyond truth, social media obsessed society. A fantastic production wonderfully brought to life by Sondra Radvanovsky, Massimo Giordano (Dec 2), Antonio Pappano. Far better than the Metropolitan Opera production from last year.

  16. Jane Swainson responded on 12 December 2016 at 6:46pm Reply

    Sondra Radvanovsky's voice was the most positive and enjoyable element in the performance...colleagues could not match her but there was no chemistry between her and her male lead. The staging was quite clever but mode of dress was out of place for the period. Co-ordination of the staging was unprofessional - delay between acts 3 and 4 while they organised the change. Definitely not a slick arrangement. The performance seemed more suited to the ENO than the ROH so disappointing to say the least.

  17. Andrew Read responded on 13 December 2016 at 5:40pm Reply

    I will go against the grain and say that I loved the staging. Being new to opera I appreciate the updated staging; the juxtaposition of the story and the modern day treatment of reality television. Superb singing from the leads but also excellent support from the chorus. The baying of the crowd and the terror in the eyes of the other deportees was very powerful. A slight mismatch in the two leads - I prefer Jonas in the role as on the Blu-ray. A top evening at the opera. Thank you ROH.

  18. Feruza responded on 20 March 2017 at 11:02pm Reply

    To my exceptional and sophisticated taste, I shall admit that Sondra Radvonovsky sounds great and the most impressive aming her conterparrts female sopranos. Her lead Aleksandros were also suprisingly ( for me) astonishing!
    I lkiedd the staging- that was reflecting Italian contemporary elegance with modern , balanced touches. Yet to add , thay made me crying all last act long and that was amazing! Bravissimo!

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