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The Sunday Opera: Jules Massenet's "Manon" from the Paris Opera

The Sunday Opera is off to Paris for this week’s program (8/29 3:00 p.m.) and the sad tale of “Manon” in the opera by Jules Massenet.   Manon (Pretty Yende) is being sent to a convent because of her family’s concern over her loving life and frivolity a bit too much.   However, on her way, she takes the fancy of Guillot de Morfontaine (Rodolphe Briand) who wishes to make her one of his conquests as well as des Grieux (Roberto Tagliavini) who genuinely falls in love with Manon at first sight.  Before Manon can continue on her journey with her cousin Lescaut (Ludovic Tezier), Manon runs away to Paris with des Grieux.   When Guillot is blamed for Manon’s disappearance, he begins to plot his revenge which will ultimately ruin the lives of Manon and des Grieux.   Join Michael Kownacky after the opera for two works that bookend the life and career of Massenet.  The first is his Suite No. 1 (actually his second, but the first was incredibly ill-received) written when Massenet was 23, and the second his Piano Concerto in E flat major, a piece written when Massenet was 61, just nine years before his death.

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.