Manon Lescaut

Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924)

14
Sunday
May
18:00 - 20:45
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
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Information about the work

Dramma lirico in 4 acts
Libretto after Abbé Prévost by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva,
Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa, Giulio Ricordi, Giuseppe Adami and the composer
First performed on 1st February, 1893 in Torino
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 19th December, 2004

Recommended from 14 years on

2 hrs 45 mins / 1 interval

In Italian with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

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Cast
14
Sunday
May
18:00 - 20:45
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
Buy tickets
Cast
the content

„What use do I have for heroes or immortal beings? I feel uneasy in such an environment. I am no musician for the grand occasion. My feel is for the small things in life; I only love to explore small things. That is why I liked Manon. She was all heart, nothing more, nothing less...“ [Giacomo Puccini]

MANON LESCAUT was Puccini's first major success as a composer of opera. As with his later international successes, the story revolves around a woman. Manon, Mimì, Tosca, even Minnie, the „girl from the Golden West" - such a confident practitioner with both colt and prayer book - and of course Liù in TURANDOT… all belong in this gallery of exceptional women whose delicacy and fragility are only surpassed by their single-mindedness and their absolute dedication to their love. And all are interesting insofar as they are can never be viewed simplistically as either perpetrators or victims, not even Cio-Cio-San, who in the end decides her own fate. They follow their hearts but without grand gestures or empty pathos. Perhaps it is this straightforwardness of action that made them attractive to Puccini, a straightforwardness that corresponded to his ideal of simplicity. Heroines in the classical sense they are not, these Puccini women; nor are they, in any sense of the word, angelic.

The young, attractive Manon, who deserts her lover Des Grieux without hesitation for a life with the wealthy but unloved Geronte, has a weakness for luxurious distractions to such an extent that she sacrifices her personal happiness, even her life, to her lust for pleasure. Even after her decision to return to Des Grieux she does not wish to relinquish her hold on the soporific security of material comfort. With the police, summoned by Geronte, on their way to the house, Manon might have managed to evade arrest and subsequent deportation had she not tarried to pack her jewellery.

Abbé Antoine François Prévost, whose novel „The Tale of the Chevalier Des Grieux and Manon Lescaut“ was Puccini's source, had given a precise description of Manon's „peculiar“ character: „There never was a girl who was less drawn towards money, but the thought never left her that she might become poor. She was in need of pleasure and distraction; had it been possible for her to amuse herself without spending money, she would have never touched a single sou.“ The young woman is surprisingly unscrupulous in the way she achieves her goals, but this does not diminish her charm in the eyes of her lovers, or for that matter, the composer. Passionate feelings, strong contrasts, a wholly unsentimental perspective on flesh-and-blood characters, their weaknesses and their suffering at the hands of despotism and social repression – Puccini's opera creates a fascinating spectrum of colours and moods.

The task he had set himself was a stiff one. He had chosen a subject that had been used on several occasions in the past, and had to bear comparison with the likes of Jules Massenet, whose MANON premiered to great acclaim in 1884. While working with his many librettists (the text mentions as many as seven authors) he intentionally avoided any parallels with Massenet. Indeed both works could not be more different. As Puccini himself once said: „Massenet feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with a desperate passion.“ These qualities together with a stiff pinch of realism have forged from the material the sympathetic and, in the end, very moving story of a magnetic woman with a mind of her own, not a heroine, but „all heart“.

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Manon Lescaut

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Newsletter

28
NOV

On 1 December, it's that time again. Our already traditional Advent calendar welcomes you with free admission. Members of the Deutsche Oper Berlin ensembles look forward to shortening the days until Christmas Eve with personalised musical programmes in which you will hear Christmas classics as well as absolute rarities, perhaps never heard before. Just come by and experience our artists up close.

Our Advent Foyer Programme
Enjoy our chamber concerts from Monday to Friday, from 5.00 p.m. to approx. 5.25 p.m., in the rank foyer on the right. Should there be any deviations in the venue or time, you will find a note in the overview. Admission is free.


1 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Dietmar Schwarz reads "The Snow Queen"

2 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet Foyer
The Little Chorus of the Children's Chorus sings Christmas carols

5 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Old Russian Romances with Maria Motolygina

6 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet Foyer
Father Christmas comes to visit - together with Elisa Verzier

7 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet Foyer
"Ding Dong! Merrily on High" - A concert with the VoiceChangers

8 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Chamber music with members of the orchestra

9 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"Beyond the Snow Queen" - Songs by Samuel Penderbayne and others
with Alexandra Ionis, Attilio Glaser and Henriette Zahn

12 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Songs and Arias with Sua Jo and Kyle Miller

13 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Daniel Nicholson sings and presents

14 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Ralph Vaughan Williams' "The House of Life"
with Dean Murphy and Elda Laro

15 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"Four Hands" - Piano Music
with John Parr and Christopher White

16 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
South American Songs with Jorge Puerta

19 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
English and Polish Songs
with Maire Therese Carmack, Artur Garbas and Manon Gerhardt

20 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"Christmas Carols for Two Tenors”
with Kieran Carrel and Thomas Cilluffo

21 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet Foyer
Christmas caroling together with the brass band

22 December 2022 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"L'ange et l'enfant" - On the occasion of César Franck's 200th birthday
with Andrea Schwarzbach and Christian Zacker

23 December 2022 | 4.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Brahms songs with Arianna Manganello
Please note the earlier start: 4.00 p.m.


All further information in the respective daily door on our homepage

Raffles at the weekends
Because an Advent calendar is of course also filled at weekends and on Christmas Eve, you will find online raffles on our homepage on Saturdays and Sundays as well as on 24 December. We would like to take this opportunity to thank cooperation partners such as NAXOS and the Yorck cinema group.