// Puccini //
This performance of MANON LESCAUT is generously underwritten by Ross Lampe, Jr.
Two young people are passionately in love, but her taste for the finer things in life leads them both astray. Puccini’s first hit features his most ardent love duet as we follow the lovers from their first meeting to their tragic end.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
What is a concert performance? At North Carolina Opera, a concert performance is all about the music! In this performance of Puccini’s MANON LESCAUT, there are no sets, costumes, or props, and instead the soloists, chorus, orchestra, and conductor are all on stage to perform the opera. In the audience, you’ll get an impressive view of the artists as they work together to bring the dynamic score to life.
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Stephanie Foley Davis
Manon Lescaut (1893) was the first smash hit opera by Giacomo Puccini, who would go on to compose La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot. The opera is one of several based on the best-selling 1731 novel by Abbé Prévost. The title character is being sent away by her father to a convent. While stopping at an inn along the way, she captivates a young nobleman, des Grieux. They fall in love and run away to Paris together. But Manon has a taste for luxury, and is enticed away from her real love by a rich older man, Geronte. Soon, however, she tires of the life of a wealthy kept woman. When des Grieux reappears, their former passion is rekindled.
The rich and powerful Geronte has Manon arrested. She is accused of prostitution and is scheduled for deportation to the Louisiana colony. Des Grieux tries in vain to rescue her; when his attempt fails, he pleads with the ship captain to let him go along with Manon. The last act sees the couple alone in the wilderness in the new world.
In his setting of the story, Puccini focuses on the passion of the two lovers. He cuts out almost all extraneous material from the novel, leaving us with the story of the doomed love of Manon and des Grieux.