Opera review: Puccini’s Manon Lescaut
Unlike Massenet’s opera Manon, which also draws on French author Abbé Prévost’s 18th-century classic, Puccini cuts straight from Manon’s elopement with the Chevalier des Grieux to the lavish Parisian villa where, after leaving des Grieux, Manon is installed by the lecherous old banker Geronte.
Puccini allows little time for us to bond with his heroine, apart from the initial Act One meeting with des Grieux when the beautiful Manon, already a victim of her pimp of a brother, confides that her “star is fading: I’m a poor plain girl doomed to sorrow.”
In Jonathan Kent’s 2014 production,... read more
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