Manon Lescaut is one of Puccini’s early operas, based on the novel of the same title by Abbé Prévost, which enchanted early audiences with its musical inspiration and became his first great international success.
The charming Manon Lescaut accidentally meets the young student Renato Des Grieux and the two immediately fall in love. Together, they run away to Paris but before long, Manon has had enough of poverty and leaves Des Grieux to become the mistress of the wealthy banker Geronte de Ravoir. Des Grieux does not give up on Manon and confronts her in Ravoir’s palace at Paris. Manon cannot resist his love and the two are discovered by Geronte who, out of revenge, has Manon arrested. While she awaits her deportation to America in prison, Des Grieux, desperate about his loved one’s fate, tries to rescue her. He manages to board the same ship as Manon and together they share the uncertainty of exile. After escaping, under the hot sun of a desert near New Orleans, Manon dies of thirst in her lover’s arms. This third opera of Puccini achieved great success, presenting him to the world as a composer whose oeuvre would sustain the glory of Italian opera.
— Both the orchestra and the chorus gave a flawlessly polished and well-rehearsed performance. —
Vijenac, April 2016.
— Maestro Bareza paid his utmost attention to the orchestra and used it to realise the full extent of Puccini’s glorious symphonic structure. —
Novi list, April 2016.