Frédéric Chaslin, Nino Machaidze (soprano) & Juan Diego Flórez (tenor)
Jules Massenet, Manon
Co-production Théâtre des Champs-Élysées / Les Grandes Voix
Lovers on The Run
“Manon is a heroine that I believe in and that's why she will win the audience's heart. Why shouldn't two operas be dedicated to her? A woman like Manon can have more than one lover.” Puccini worked on his Manon Lescaut (1893) for three years and before he was sure he had painted a good portrait of her, he unleashed no less than five librettists on her. The pressure on his shoulders was immense. A few years earlier, Manon — also based on the novel by Abbé Prévost from 1731 — had become a success in the hands of his rival Massenet. Although the title suggests differently, Manon's lover Le Chevalier des Grieux — a talented young man with a promising future — has the leading role. In the opera and in the novel we see Manon through his eyes. “Look at me, I'm going crazy, look!” In total submission Le Chevalier des Grieux gets down on his knees and begs the commander to allow him to accompany his beloved to America. Manon — accused of prostitution — is banished. Celebrated bel canto specialist Juan Diego Flórez accompanies her tonight as Le Chevalier des Grieux. The Peruvian tenor performs at the world's most prominent opera houses such as La Scala and The Metropolitan Opera. With southern passion and charisma he will perform the most beautiful extracts from Manon Lescaut in the company of the Belgian National Orchestra.