Massenet Opera Manon

nMassenet Opera ManonJules Massenet (May 12, 1842 August 13, 1912) composed this five-act tragic romance opra comique, Manon. Libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille based on the novel by the Abb Antoine-Francois Prvost. The opera was premiered in Paris, Opra Comique, in January 19, 1884. The setting is in Paris and Amiens in the early 18th century.nnSome arias: "Adieu, notre petite table" (Manon) and "Ah, fuyez douce image" (Des Grieux.)nnManon is the most famous opera by Massenet. It explores a young woman's sexuality similar to Bizet's Carmen written nine years earlier. Although it is called opra comique for its spoken dialogue, it is actually tragic. The score has famous arias and duets. Puccini challenged this opera with his own Manon Lescaut performed in 1893.nCharacter RolesLe Chevalier des Grieux, a young noble (tenor)Lescaut, a soldier and Manon's cousin (baritone)Guillot de Morfontaine, a financier (tenor)De Brtigny, rich noble and farmer-general (baritone)Manon Lescaut, a fickle young woman (soprano)Le Comte des Grieux, Le Chevalier's father (bass)Innkeeper (baritone)Plot Summary / Synopses of ManonAct 1. The Courtyard of an Inn at AmiensnGuillot and Brtigny and a trio of actresses demand dinner from the innkeeper who has promised to reserve a seat on the first coach for the chevalier des Grieux. Lescaut leaves his companions at the inn while he awaits his cousin, Manon, who is on her way to a convent. When the coach arrives, all the passengers try to get their luggage at once.nnGuillot makes a pass at her, but sbobet Lescaut tells him to go away. He leaves Manon in the courtyard while he goes off to gamble. Enters Des Grieux. Seeing her, he decides not to leave Amiens. He introduces himself to Manon and the two fall in love. Des Grieux Sbobet invites her to come with him to Paris.nAct 2. Apartment of Des Grieux and Manon in the Rue Vivienne, ParisnDes Grieux wants to marry Manon. They now live together in Paris and he needs his father's consent to marry her. Lescaut and Brtigny discover the lovers hideaway. Brtigny, who is also in love with Manon, tells her that Des Grieux will be abducted but if she says nothing about it, he'll make life easy for her and she can live in luxury with him.nnManon struggles with herself, but, feeling herself unworthy of him, does not warn Des Drieux. True enough, on Des Grieux's return, he is kidnapped.nAct 3. Cours la Reine, Paris and seminary of St. SulpicenScene 1. Cours la Reine, ParisnnManon is now Brtigny's mistress. On the Cours la Reine, Parisians shop and toast the king. Brtigny and Guillot discuss women's fickleness. Manon is the toast of the town. Brtigny and Manon meet Des Grieux's father, the count, who tells them his son has taken holy orders. Guillot hires the opera ballet to entertain Manon but she flees to St. Sulpice to look for Des Grieux.nnScene 2. Reception Room of the Seminary of St. SulpicennAt St Sulpice, Des Grieux has impressed the women of the congregation with his prayers and religious discourse. He is furious with Manon for her betrayal, but he succumbs when she pleads for his love.nAct 4. The Hotel Transylvania, ParisnLescaut gambles in the hotel Transylvania, and Manon encourages Des Grieux into playing. When he wins, Guillot accuses him of cheating and summons the police. Des Grieux and Manon are locked up in prison.nAct 5. On the Road to Le Havre nDes Grieux's father gets him out of jail, but Manon is ordered to be deported to Louisiana. Des Grieux and Lescaut finds a way to free Manon by bribing a sergeant to help them out. Her strength at this point is exhausted by prison life; she manages to sing a beautiful duet with Des Grieux, and dies in his arms.nSources:nOpera by Alan Riding and L.D. Downer, DK, 2006nnThe Da Capo Opera Manual by Nicholas Ivor Martin, 1997nnThe Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd Edition, edited by Stanley Sadie, 2000n


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