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Manon is a five act opera by Jules Massenet based on a musical script that was written by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille which was originally based on a French novel from 1731 named "L'Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux at de Manon Lescaut" by Abbe Prevost. Before Massenet brought Manon to the theatres, Helevy had used it as a stage performance in 1830 and Auber had used it in 1856. When Massenet took the musical in his hands he added a sequel to it.
Jules Massenet is a famous opera composer. During the late 19th century and early 20th century, his operas were very famous and he is named among the top opera composers of his age. Among his top operas are "Manon" and "Werther". His opera style went in the shadows after his death, only to be revived years later during mid 70's. His plays "Thais" and "Esclarmonde" have been revived during different decades. Massenet composed about 34 operas in his life.
Massenet spent a long time at his country house composing Manon. He also spent a large portion of time at The Hague, house that once belonged to Prevost, the writer of Manon. Manonis known as Massenet's best operas and is performed even today. Manon is one of the most famous operas of its time and by 1952 it had reached its 2,000th performance.
A year after Manon'spremier, the opera was also introduced at Liverpool, UK in January of 1885, New York version of the opera was premiered by "Academy of Music"on 23rd of December of the same year. The show was taken to the "Royal Opera House" of London on 19th May 1891.Two more productions were brought to stage on 1947 and 1987. The show was staged 214 times at "The Metropolitan Opera" the most recent staging was on 23rd February 2008. "Sans Francisco Opera" staged Manon continuously from 1924 - 1998.
Even today Manon is played very often. From 2009 - 2011 about 16 production companies have arranged about 300 performances around the world. Some of the famous opera actors and singers that have performed in Manon in the past are, Anna Moffo, Fanny Haldy, Natalie Dessay, Bidu Sayao, Anna Netrebko and Lucrezia Bori. The role of Manon Lescaut was performed by Marie Heilbron in the premier show. She had debuted in 1866 in "Theatre-Italien" and performed their before she got Manon's role in Massenet's opera, a role which brought her great success.
Manon is a sensational opera that narrates the story of a girl and is based in France during Louis XV's reign. Manon is the name of the main character and the opera takes us on a journey through her life as her innocent childhood is turned into womanhood full of guilt and doubts. Manon is a beautiful tragic tale that portrays old France and its culture very well.
Some of the famous arias from the opera are; "Closing My Eyes", "I Am Still Completely Dazzled", "Goodbye, Our Little Table", "Let Us Obey When Their Voice Calls Us" and "Ah, Flee, Sweet Image". If you wish to spend an evening with your friends or family, witnessing a classic story told through classical opera music, don't forget to grab your share of Manon tickets today!