7.4/10
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Manon Lescaut (1997)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Adina Nitescu Adina Nitescu ... Manon Lescaut
Patrick Denniston Patrick Denniston ... Chevalier des Grieux
Roberto De Candia Roberto De Candia ... Lescaut
Paolo Montarsolo Paolo Montarsolo ... Geronte di Ravoir
Antonello Palombi ... Edmondo
Christopher Lemmings Christopher Lemmings ... The Dancing Master
Sarah Connolly Sarah Connolly ... A Musician
Michael Hart-Davis Michael Hart-Davis ... A Lamplighter
Richard Mosley-Evans Richard Mosley-Evans ... The Innkeeper / A Naval Captain
Kevin Sharp Kevin Sharp ... A Sergeant of Archers
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Eliot Gardiner John Eliot Gardiner ... Himself - Conductor
The Glyndebourne Chorus The Glyndebourne Chorus ... Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra London Philharmonic Orchestra ... Themselves - Orchestra
John Westwood John Westwood ... Manon's Hairdresser
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

31 May 1997 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

NVC Arts See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Connections

Version of Manon (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A decent Manon Lescaut
24 March 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Puccini's Manon Lescaut is a beautiful opera with some of the maestro's most loveliest music(ie. the Intermezzo), but I admit that I find the final act not as plausible as that of Massenet's version of the story(Manon if not familiar). This Glyndebourne production is not my favourite Manon Lescaut, that's a tie between the 1980 Met and 1983 Covent Garden productions. I have three main complaints. One are the minimalist and very sparse settings, for me of the Manon Lescauts on DVD I've seen this is the dullest visually, with the least sumptuous Manon's boudoir I've seen and the desert scene was badly designed. Another is the sound is not very balanced, with the acoustics favouring the orchestra rather than the singers, who can sound muffled.

But here's the main problem, I never did engage with Manon Lescaut herself. Adina Nitescu certainly doesn't have a bad voice, though I found lacking in musicianship and nuance, in fact there is some evidence of beautiful tone. But her acting just wasn't there, I was riveted by Scotto, TeKanawa and even by Guleghina(though her voice was too heavy generally for the role), but with Nitesku I felt nothing. The whole performance felt cold and lacking in the girlish naivety you'd associate with Manon and she doesn't even connect with the rest of the cast.

However, Puccini's music is absolutely wonderful, and the orchestra do show signs of nuance and wide-ranging colour in their playing(just listen to the shimmering ethereal quality of the start of the Intermezzo). John Elliot Gardiner's conducting is very passionate. Nitescu aside, the rest of the good are actually very good, though the Le Havre girls are little more than caricatures. Patrick Denniston is a startlingly good Des Greiux, ardent, charming and a very pleasant tenor voice. Paolo Montarsolo is past prime vocally but his Geronte is suitably grotesque and besotted.

Roerto De Candia is a solid Lescaut, and Sarah Connolly is a good presence as the musician. Not to mention this is the production with the creepiest Geronte's group of friends I've seen, all have an individual way of greeting Manon with one even licking her hand. The video directing and picture quality are pretty good if not exemplary. Overall, disappointing but decent. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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