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Manon Lescaut

Manon Lescaut

Story & Setting:

By 1884, Abbé Prévost’s L’Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut had already inspired a popular new operatic adaptation by Jules Massenet. Puccini’s desire to set the story in Italian proved quite difficult, requiring input from no less than five librettists and his publisher, Giulio Ricordi, to arrive at a final result. The story centers on a naïve young woman who struggles to resolve her conflict between true love and a life of comfort and luxury. The original story is set in France in the 1720s; Richard Eyre’s production updates the time to the occupation in the 1940s.

Opera Notes:

Puccini wanted his operatic adaptation to vary greatly from his French predecessor, going so far as to say that “Massenet feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion.” One can argue that he certainly achieved this goal with the urgent and emotional music for this opera, which would bring him acclaim and establish his role as Italy’s foremost composer.

Sung in



3 hours & 10 minutes

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)


"Donna non vidi mai" -Roberto Alagna

Met Opera (current production)

"Sola, perduta, abbandonata" - Kristine Opolais

Met Opera (current production)

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