In the 1950's and the 1960's the many recordings Renata Tebaldi and Mario Delmonaco made together were some of classical music's best sellers. They made eleven of them, and in 1954 Manon Lescaut was the first of this long collaboration, and both of these beloved singers were at the top of their form on this studio recording.
Manon Lescaut is a classic Puccini love story. Manon and Desgrieux fall in love at first sight. After a time of brief happiness, Manon betrays Des Grieux with a richer older lover. Des Grieux and Manon re-unite, and the vengeful older man has her arrested and sent as a prisoner to Louisiana. The devoted Des Grieux goes with her as a deckhand and helps her escape. But she dies in his arms in a desolate, lonely landscape near New Orleans as they near British territory. Francesco Molinari-Pradelli conducts the orchestra and chorus of the St. Cecelia Academy in Rome.