© Sage Szkabarnicki- Stuart



Concert performance of the opera by Jules Massenet - Conductor: Daniele Rustioni

  • Auditorium, Orchestre national de Lyon
  • 3 hours 30 minutes
    whose1 intermission (s)
  • In French

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Jules Massenet’s adaptation of the Abbé Prévost’s scandalous novel with its spectacular array of styles, higlights the mysterious figure of Manon, so in love with love and the high life that she would die for them. This is a concert version of the opera.

  • 16:00

À propos

On the road to the convent, the beautiful Manon crosses paths with the Chevalier des Grieux. The two young people fall in love and decide to run away together. But Des Grieux cannot give her the life she dreams of and Manon gives in to the advances of the rich Brétigny. A desperate Des Grieux prepares to enter the priesthood, but Manon again convinces him to run away with her. He eventually falls into gambling and Manon into prostitution.

Manon, that “astonishing sphinx!”
While Massenet’s work is an adaptation of the Abbé Prévost’s novel L'Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et Manon Lescaut - which caused a scandal in its time - the opera only features part of the plot, while paying tribute to the 18th century. Another difference is that Manon is the main character here and represents the different faces of women as defined by male desire. She is the “astonishing sphinx!”, two-sided to the point of mystery. The French opéra-comique style, which mixes spoken and sung passages here strengthens the dramatic structure through its ability to handle a great variety of atmospheres and styles. Thus, we go from pastcihe to pathos, from opera to operetta and even comic opera in a demonstration of musical and vocal virtuosity. 
Daniele Rustioni, at the helm of this Manon, continues his series of concert versions of Massenet operas – performed, as here, in their simplest form of musical expression, without staging, sets or costumes – with a spellbinding performance from soprano Vannina Santoni in the very demanding, sometimes acrobatic role of Manon.

An opera in five acts
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille, based on Abbé Prévost

Co-production with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon

Voir aussi

  • Daniele Rustioni, chef d'orchestre principal de l'Opéra de Lyon




Vannina Santoni

The Chevalier des Grieux

Saimir Pirgu

Lescaut, Manon’s cousin

Jean-Sébastien Bou

Guillot de Morfontaine

Éric Huchet

De Brétigny

Philippe Estèphe

The Comte des Grieux

Nicolas Testé


Margot Genet


Amandine Ammirati


Clémence Poussin

Why we love it

This adaptation of L'Abbé Prévost allows us to rediscover this classic of 18th century literature.

Why we love it

This opera by Massenet gives Manon, both a central and secondary figure in the novel, her rightful place.

Why we love it

Manon happily concentrates in a single opera all the different styles of the discipline.

Why we love it

The Opera House and the Auditorium look forward to sharing this programme with their audiences.

Ma soirée