Le Portrait de Manon

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Jules Massenet


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Le Portrait de Manon Synopsis


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About the opera Le Portrait de Manon

Le portrait de Manon is an opera in one act by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Georges Boyer. It is a sequel to Massenet's 1884 opera Manon, widely regarded to be his masterpiece. Le portrait de Manon, however, hardly achieved even a fraction of the original's acclaim and is rarely performed today. The opera was first performed at the Opéra Comique in Paris on 8 May 1894. After its premiere the work was performed at La Monnaie in November 1894 and the Teatro del Fondo in Naples in December 1894. The work received its United States premiere at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on 13 December 1897. The Opéra Comique revived the opera in 1900 and it was mounted at the Théâtre Lyrique in September 1922, after which the work fell out of the performance repertory. After a more than 60-year absence from the stage, Le portrait de Manon was mounted at La Fenice on 13 April 1985. Four years later the Opéra de Monte-Carlo staged the work. The opera was most recently revived by the Glimmerglass Opera in 2005.
The opera opens with a chorus of peasants singing outside the home of the Chevalier Des Grieux; they remind him of his own happier days and he looks at his miniature portrait of Manon. His nephew Jean arrives for a history lesson but tells Des Grieux that he is in love with Aurore. Des Grieux believes that the young girl is unworthy of Jean having neither noble birth nor money.
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Roles in Le Portrait de Manon

Des Grieux Baritone
Tiberge Tenor
Jean Mezzo-Soprano
Aurore Soprano

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