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The Sunday Opera: Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" from the Vienna State Opera

We’re back at the Vienna State Opera for this week’s Sunday Opera (9/11 3:00 p.m.) and their recent production of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut.”

The tragic heroine who goes from a protective convent school to a life of debauchery and riches in Paris, to deportation, and finally, to her death in the “deserts” of Louisiana is performed here by Asmik Grigorian, her love, des Grieux, is Brian Jagde, and her cousin, Lescaut, is Boris Pinkhasovich. Francesco Ivan Ciampa leads the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

After the opera, there’ll be a second look at the tale of Manon in a ballet score culled together from the works of Jules Massenet, and none of it is from Massenet’s opera! Leighton Lucas arranged and orchestrated Massenet’s works in this three-act ballet (in collaboration with Hilda Gaunt) for Kenneth MacMillan and the Royal Ballet.

Massenet’s music is lovely, and the setting by Lucas is unexpected, making it a delightful close to the afternoon brought to you here by Richard Bonynge leading the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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