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The Royal Opera House

Opera Guide: Manon

The story of Manon Lescaut has become part of the European imagination: she is the fun-loving woman who is irresistible to men. Of Massenet’s many operas, she inspired the most popular one, and this libretto shows his minute attention to detail in bringing the character and the period to life. This guide opens with a general survey of Massenet’s career by the musicologist Gérard Condé, and includes two essays about this particular opera. Professor Hugh Macdonald explores the interplay of speech and song in Manon and Massenet’s genius for comedy. Professor Vivienne Mylne traces the sources and context of Prévost’s novel.

Massenet, Gerard Condé
A Musical Synopsis, Hugh Macdonald
Prévost and ‘Manon Lescaut’, Vivienne Mylne
Manon: Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille
English version by Edmund Tracey
Discography, Martin Hoyle

ENO Libretto 25
Composer: Jules Massenet
Page extent: 112 pages
Size: 21.5 x 14 cm portrait
Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 9780714544267