|María José Siri and Gregory Kunde star as the ill-fated lovers at the centre of Manon Lescaut, Puccini’s passionate adaptation of the classic novel about a free-spirited country girl who becomes the toast of Paris and finds herself torn between true love and a life of luxury. The opera had its debut in 1893 and was Puccini’s first major triumph - a hit with critics and audiences alike. It was with this work that Puccini revealed himself 124 years ago on the very same stage of the Teatro Regio Turino as an operatic composer on a par with Verdi.
Through Manon Lescaut, Puccini reveals his fascination with the destiny of a woman whose sensuality and boundless energy is shown by her passionate search for life’s pleasures. His sumptuous and rich score is characterised by youthful vitality and filled with glorious melodies to further enrich the story. Manon is a heroine in which Puccini believed in - a provocative woman fiercely attached to two incompatible entities; luxury and love. Manon dies “sola, perduta, abbandonata in landa desolata” and makes us think of another fallen woman, Violetta. Perhaps then Manon Lescaut represents a homage to Verdi.|