Opera in four acts music by Giacomo Puccini
The opera Manon Lescaut is considered to be one of Giacomo Puccini’s finest works.
Originally staged in Turin in 1893, it was the composer’s first undoubted triumph. The libretto is based on the novel L’histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost, one of the first ever psychological novels, which was very popular throughout Europe.
The creators of the Mikhailovsky Theatre production, director Jürgen Flimm and designer George Tsypin, have kept the action in Paris but have changed the period, setting the events in the early twentieth century. In their vivid adaptation, the heroine is a budding movie star and her lover is also an actor, whilst her wealthy admirer is a Hollywood producer.
The set design for the show resembles film noir in style with its characteristic lighting contrasts and dramatic shadows. The striking costumes are very much in keeping with the cinematography of the 1930s and 1940s. The emotional content is unchanged, succinctly described by the director as: “One woman, two men — catastrophic consequences.”