Detroit Film Theatre


Thursday, June 30, 2011

6:00 PM

(USA/Spain/2011—directed by David McVicar)
Massenet’s passionate and tragic Manon stars three of today’s operatic luminaries: Rolando Villazón as Chevalier Des Grieux, Samuel Ramey as his father, and the incomparable coloratura Natalie Dessay as Manon herself. This is a high-definition presentation of a sold-out performance presented earlier this year in at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Manon (1884) is Massenet’s most popular and famous work and a veritable paradigm of French opera. Based on L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost (Amsterdam, 1731), it follows the original more closely than most other operas on the same topic. It tells the tale of two adolescents —an attractive young girl on her way to a convent and a provincial nobleman who has fallen madly in love with her— who elope to Paris. There life’s harsh realities uncover their true characters. Jules Massenet’s Manon has a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille. It is an opéra-comique in five acts, divided into six scenes, and was premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris in 1884. It triumphed from the very first night and has remained a paradigm of French opera, as was illustrated by the medallion to French opera which could be seen over the Liceu stage prior to the 1994 fire. It was first performed at the Liceu in 1894 and has been staged there 130 times in all. Sung in French with English subtitles. (3 hours and 15 minutes, including one intermission)
NOTE: special ticket prices apply for MANON: general admission $20, students, seniors and DIA members $18