Anna Netrebko portrays Manon in this Met production.
The innocent and lovely young Manon is on her way to a life in the convent when she introduced to the world of love and seduction in the first act of Jules Massenet’s 1884 opera ‘Manon’.
The new production, which debuted on March 26 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, makes use of simple staging to highlight the music, namely the swelling vocals of powerhouse soprano Anna Netrebko.
The story unfolds as Manon seduces her way up the social ladder of an 18th century Paris aristocracy, finding the good-hearted love of the Chevalier Des Greiux (tenor Piotr Beczala) as an escape from her impending life of cloister.
She is soon caught up in the luxurious offerings of another suitor irresistible as she climbs another rung of the ladder. Her guilt soon forces her back into the arms of the heartbroken, and soon to be priest, Des Greiux. She persuades him to end his quest for the priesthood, and they once again become lovers.
Not content with her love’s sagging fortunes, she convinces him to gamble, but things go awry when Des Greiux and Manon are arrested for cheating. Des Greiux is saved by his father, but Manon is left to face charges.
She is sentenced to be deported to Louisiana, but her lover bribes the guard for her release. He catches her in his arms as she collapses from exhaustion brought on by consumption. He mourns for their lost happiness as she dies in his arms.
This production will be broadcast live in HD from the stage at the Met Opera in New York to theatres throughout West Virginia at noon on Saturday, April 7.
You can catch the show at Cinemark Huntington Mall in Barboursville, Great Escape in Nitro, Hollywood Stadium12 in Granville/Morgantown and Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg. Ticket prices vary at each theater.
If you aren’t able to attend the HD broadcast, you can still catch all of the seduction and intrigue by tuning in & listening to WV Public Radio or online at www.wvpubcast.org.
Those within driving distance of The Huntington Mall can then enjoy attending the HD Encore at 6:30 pm on April 25. To win free passes for Barboursville & Nitro contact LaRee at (304) 344-9091; for Morgantown contact Barton at (304) 599-3423.
NOTE: John Porter is WV Agriculture Extension Agent of Kanawha County & Charleston and a volunteer for WVPB