[Met Performance] CID:286020

Manon Lescaut
Metropolitan Opera House, Wed, September 24, 1986

Debut : Mary Meyers

Manon Lescaut (190)
Giacomo Puccini | Luigi Illica/Giuseppe Giacosa/Marco Praga/Ruggero Leoncavallo
Leona Mitchell

Des Grieux
Ermanno Mauro

Brian Schexnayder

Italo Tajo

Allan Glassman

Spiro Malas

Solo Madrigalist
Yun Deng

Sandra Bush

Beverly Hulse

Mary Meyers [Debut]

Joyce Olson

Dancing Master
Andrea Velis

John Darrenkamp

Charles Anthony

Russell Christopher

Julius Rudel

Gian Carlo Menotti

Desmond Heeley

Lighting Designer
Gil Wechsler

Stage Director
Pamela McRae

Manon Lescaut received ten performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Bill Zakariasen in the Daily News

After an "Aida" that was almost sabotaged by its conductor Tuesday night, the Metropolitan Opera gave a performance of Puccini's "Manon Lescaut" Wednesday in which the conducting was the best thing about it.

That's not to say the singers were no good - it's just that Julius Rudel led the score with such passion, cohesive vitality and musical integrity that every artist on stage was encouraged to give his or her vocal best.

Vocal best surely applies to soprano Leona Mitchell, who essayed Manon for the first time - her luscious voice negotiated the difficult music with enviable ease throughout.

But while Mitchell gave us plenty to hear, acting-wise she provided precious little to see. Her indifferent impersonation of the virginal maid turned courtesan captured virtually nothing of the character.

Mitchell reached a plateau of eloquence during the last act, but there's a lot more to "Manon Lescaut" than a death scene.

Tenor Ermanno Mauro is hardly the most illusive Des Grieux imaginable, but he sang his music capitally and with admirable involvement. However, I assume he was glad that the other tenor role of Edmondo is only confined to Act I, since Allan Glassman's ringing tones and positive presence made the most of it.

Once again though, some of the most memorable moments were provided by the Met's veteran character artists: Italo Tajo's delicious portrayal of that dirty old man Geronte, Andrea Velis as the unctuous dancing master, and Charles Anthony - still potent sounding - in the charming cameo of the lamplighter.

Photograph of Leona Mitchell as the title role in Manon Lescaut by Winnie Klotz/Metropolitan Opera.

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