Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège
As the beautiful Manon prepares to enter the convent, she becomes infatuated with attractive Chevalier Des Grieux. However, she cannot resist the riches offered by old Mr. Geronte and so they flee to Paris. When she meets her new young jealous lover again, her protector denounces her as a prostitute. She is deported to New Orleans where she dies of exhaustion in the arms of the man she loves.
The three Manon
The passionate love affair between Manon Lescaut and the Chevalier Des Grieux, according to the successful novel by Abbé Prévost, already transposed to the stage by Auber and Massenet, was to become, despite the reluctance of his publisher Ricordi, the first major success for Puccini. No less than seven librettists were necessary to satisfy the dramatic requirements of the composer, who wanted to offer the spectators in Turin a Manon that was consumed with a “quintessentially Italian passion”. The result is an exceptional anthology of sublime melodies and overwhelming lyricism that courses through the work from the carefree ingenuousness of Manon to her tragic death. The work benefits from an entirely new arrangement and thus completes the cycle of the three Manons, following Massenet’s in 2014 and Auber’s in 2016.
Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera †
Head of Choirs