Production Company: Royal Opera House
Venue: The Corn Hall
The Royal Opera – recorded 2014
Puccini’s first triumph returned to Covent Garden for the first time in 30 years in a new staging by Jonathan Kent, starring Kristine Opolais and Jonas Kaufmann.
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’.
Director Jonathan Kent finds contemporary resonance in the story of a woman tempted and misguided into acting against her best interests, and who finally receives retribution far more severe than her actions could ever deserve.
Designs by Paul Brown create a harsh environment riven through with societal hypocrisy, in which Manon is trapped by those who will exploit her – and from which the only escape can be death.
Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
minutes (including one interval)