This early Puccini masterpiece made a welcome return to Covent Garden last season after an absence of over 20 years, in a new production by Jonathan Kent under the baton of Music Director Antonio Pappano. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her character. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. This was a much anticipated new production, and Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city surely resonates with today’s audience. This production was recorded in June of 2014. (Approx. Runtime 3 hours).
There will be a live interview with opera expert Fred Plotkin at intermission, moderated by Naomi Lewin.
Fred Plotkin is one of America’s foremost experts on opera and has distinguished himself in many fields as a writer, speaker, consultant and as a compelling teacher. He is an expert on everything Italian, the person other so-called Italy experts turn to for definitive information. Fred discovered the concept of "The Renaissance Man" as a small child and has devoted himself to pursuing that ideal as the central role of his life. In a “Public Lives” profile in The New York Times on August 30, 2002, Plotkin was described as "one of those New York word-of-mouth legends, known by the cognoscenti for his renaissance mastery of two seemingly separate disciplines: music and the food of Italy." In the same publication, on May 11, 2006, it was written that "Fred is a New Yorker, but has the soul of an Italian."
Edmondo (A Student) - Benjamin Hulett
Chevalier des Grieux - Jonas Kaufmann
Lescaut (Manon's Brother) - Christopher Maltman
Innkeeper - Nigel Cliffe
Geronte de Revoir - Maurizio Muraro
Manon Lescaut - Kristine Opolais
Musician - Nadezhda Karyazina
Dancing Master - Robert Burt
Sergeant - Jihoon Kim
Lamplighter - Luis Gomes
A Naval Captain - Jeremy White
Music Giacomo Puccini
Libretto Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica
Conductor Antonio Pappano
Director Jonathan Kent
Designs Paul Brown
Lighting Design Mark Henderson
Movement Denni Sayers
Royal Opera Chorus
Chorus Director Renato Balsadonna
Chorus Director for Manon Lescaut Stephen Westrop
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Concert Master Vasko Vassilev
Directed for the Screen by
Presented in collaboration with WQXR and the Royal Opera House.