Opera in four acts with music by Giacomo Puccini and libretto in Italian written successively by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Domenico Oliva, Marco Praga, Giusepee Giacosa, Luigi Illica, Giacomo Puccini and Giulio Ricordi. It is based on the novel Histoire du chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut (1731) by the Abbé Antoine-François Prévost, which was also the inspiration for the opera Manon by Jules Massenet
Premiered at the Teatro Regio of Turín on the 1st of February, 1893

Production Teatro Cervantes de Málaga

Manon Lescaut  Berna Perles
Lescaut  Rodrigo Esteves
Renato Des Grieux  Carlo Ventre
Geronte de Ravoir  Giacomo Prestia
Edmondo  Manuel de Diego
The innkeeper / A sergeant of the archers Marcelo Solís
The dance teacher Nicolás Calderón
A musician Mari Luz Román
A marine commander Alejandro Moreno

Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga
Coro de Ópera de Málaga

Stage director Pier Francesco Maestrini
Choir director María del Mar Muñoz Varo
Conductor Daniel Montané

2.40 h (w/intermission)

Puccini’s first great success is an opera with obvious Wagnerian references, in which the orchestra dialogues directly with the characters, helping to underline their emotions and psychology. The orchestral writing is endowed with a truly brilliant and endless melodic fluidity, which emphasizes the characters’ moral degradation, although Puccini prefers not to forget that love always prevails. The use of leitmotifs is recurrent from the beginning to the end of the drama, helping to build the whole intricate plot.
When Puccini tackled his opera, Massenet had already triumphed with Manon. Despite the reluctance of his publisher Ricordi, Puccini went ahead with the idea of setting Abbé Prévost's novel to music, insisting that it was possible to have more than one author tell the story of Manon Lescaut: "A woman like Manon can have more than one lover. Massenet feels her as a Frenchman, with powders and minuets; I feel her as an Italian, with desperate passion," he said. After Le Villi (1884) and Edgar (1889), Manon Lescaut made the Tuscan maestro one of the leaders of the Verist school and the continuator of the great Giuseppe Verdi, who in those days premiered Falstaff. Another coincidence is that both achieved world fame with their third opera, Nabucco (1842) and Manon Lescaut (1893) after two lukewarm premieres with their previous operas.

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