The Israel Opera opens its 2019-20 season with Jules Massenet’s ever-popular Manon (1884 premiere in Paris). It runs from November 7 to 18 at the Opera House.
By HELEN KAYE
The Israel Opera opens its 2019-20 season with Jules Massenet’s ever-popular Manon (1884 premiere in Paris). It runs from November 7 to 18 at the Opera House.For impressionable Manon (sopranos Ekaterina Bakanova and Christina Pasaroiu) and young Des Grieux (tenors Leonardo Caimi and Ho Yoon Chung) it’s love at first sight when they meet by chance in the courtyard of an inn but also beckoning are riches and the high life on the shape of de Bretigny (baritones Mindaugas Jankauskas and Yair Polishook). Resolution of the dilemma will cost Manon her life.Principals include baritones David Adam Moore and Oded Reich as Manon’s cousin Lescaut and basses Vladimir Braun and Denis Sedov as the Comte des Grieux, the Chevalier’s father.Massenet’s opera is based on his 1731 runaway best-seller The History of the Chevalier des Grieux et Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost. Puccini also wrote an opera on the subject, Manon Lescaut, that premiered in 1893. “Why not?” he is reported to have said, “The character is worth more than one opera.”Originally directed and costumed by Vincent Boussard, this Manon revival is directed by Gediminas Šeduikis, and is a collaboration between the IO, the San Francisco Opera and the Lithuanian Opera.