"Puccini: Manon Lescaut" is an episode of The Metropolitan Opera HD Live starring Karita Mattila, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft. A life of love or a life of luxury? In a moment of crisis, Manon can't decide; so she tries to have both, and ends up with neither. This is co-dependency set to music, and it was Puccini's first big hit.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Karita Mattila ... Manon Lescaut
Marcello Giordani ... Des Grieux
Dwayne Croft ... Lescaut
Sasha Cooke ... Madrigal Singers
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Bernstein ... A sea captain
... Madrigal Singers
James Courtney ... A sergeant
Bernard Fitch ... Dancing Master
James Levine ... Himself - Conductor
Tamara Mumford ... A musician
Lisette Oropesa ... Madrigal Singers
Sean Panikkar ... Edmondo
Paul Plishka ... An innkeeper
Ellen Rabiner ... Madrigal Singers
Tony Stevenson ... A lamlighter
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Storyline

The Chevalier is disowned by his aristocratic family after he seduces Manon into running away with him to Paris. He goes ever deeper into debt in his attempts to provide the luxury that Manon demands. Written by dnitzer

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classical | See All (1) »

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Musical

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Release Date:

27 April 2008 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Opera Pouffe
4 June 2012 | by See all my reviews

This production seems to be the filler in the Metropolitan Opera's 2008 high definition season. Karita Matilla and Marcello Giordani make an unlikely teenage virgin and student. At least Karita Matilla's voice is up to the part and she successfully adopts a girlish manner. The portly Giordani is apparently a Met favourite and is reckoned by some to have a voice similar to Pavarotti's. Not by me though. His high notes sound particularly strained in Act I and I was reminded that I was similarly underwhelmed by his performance in a recent Butterfly from Verona.

This is a revival of a very traditional production. Some of the scenery looks almost as old as the principals. One pouffe keeps on collapsing at the end of Act II whenever Manon tries to pile her jewellery onto it. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, if undemanding, production, with a fast-moving plot in Acts I and II. I cherish dodgy card playing scenes in operas and this one has a corker. De Grieux is observing a card game and he says "An ace sir? It's a jack – your mistake". The card players turn to him and exclaim "An expert!" Presumably because he knows the difference between an ace and a jack. There is an entertaining parade of the prostitutes in Act III before that silly final death scene in the desert. This scene, perversely, has the best music in the opera and here, at last Giordani finally makes a favourable impression.


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