Met Opera opens this week’s online presentations with Puccini’s ‘Manon Lescaut’

Every day whilst the Opera House is closed, the Metropolitan Opera streams a different presentation from the past 14 years of the company’s Live in HD cinema transmissions. Available to view on the Met website at 7.30 pm EDT, each performance is available for a period of 23 hours, until 6:30 pm EDT the following day. 

The first offering from the Metropolitan Opera archives this week is a performance of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, first broadcast on February 16, 2008.

In contrast to Massenet’s five-act 1882 French opera Manon, Giacomo Puccini’s interpretation of the story of Manon Lescaut is a four-act opera in Italian, written between 1889 and 1892. With a libretto by Luigi Illica, Marco Praga and Domenico Oliva, it was also based on Abbé Prévost’s 1731 novel Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux, et de Manon Lescaut, relating the story of the innocent country girl, Manon, who falls in love with the Chevalier des Grieux, before having her head turned by the wealth of the ageing Parisian, Geronte. She deserts des Grieux for Geronte, and becomes the toast of Paris, but her love of luxury ultimately leads to her conviction for theft and she’s sent to a penal colony in Louisiana where she dies. The opera premiered at Teatro Regio, Turin, in 1893.

This production stars Finnish soprano Karita Mattila in the title role, with Marcello Giordani as des Grieux and Dale Travis as Geronte.

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus are led by James Levine in this transmission which streams at 7.30 EDT today.

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