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N'est ce plus ma main que cette main presse

Opera details:

Opera title:



Jules Massenet




Manon Synopsis


Manon Libretto


English Deutsch

Aria details:




Le Chevalier des Grieux





Previous scene: Toi! Vous!
Next scene: Ah! viens Manon je t'aime

Renée Fleming and Richard Leech Manon Act III duet LIVE (1997) ROLE DEBUT

Singer(s): Renée Fleming Richard Leech

Live Paris Opera 1997
Conductor: Gary Bertini
Manon: Renée Fleming
Des Grieux: Richard Leech

0:00 "Pardonnez-moi"
1:30 "Toi! Vous!"
3:13 "Ah! Perfide Manon!"
4:54 "N'est-ce plus ma main que cette main presse?"

Renée Fleming making her role debut in Massenet's Manon in 1997. As such this is her earliest recording of the role. Her splendid 2001 performance of the same role, in the same opera house, and the same production was later released on CD and DVD. This scene is particularly spectacular on that recording, along with Act IV, well worth hearing.

In the line of Thais and Esclarmonde, Manon is another absurdly challenging soprano role by Massenet, who had a knack for vocal writing that demands everything of a performer technically and interpretatively. The role of Manon has been referred to as the French Brunhilde because of it's exceptional vocal demands - it is an extremely long role, requiring a flawless range from middle C up to (written) top E6s, a solid middle voice, excursions into chest register, a proper trill, flexibility and skill in managing the big registral shifts, coloratura in Act I and III, and surging power over heavy orchestration in Acts II, III and IV. It is often cast with very light lyric coloratura voices who are able to easily encompass the high notes, but then the rest of the role is usually left severely underpowered and musically ineffective.

Renée Fleming sings here the Act III duet with Richard Leech, in which Manon tries to seduce her former lover out of his life at the seminary at Saint-Sulpice. It's the most overtly sensuous music in the opera, and probably the most passionate too. One of the great duets of the romantic literature, in which Massenet (and Manon) pulls out all the stops to hit the audience below the belt.

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Watch videos with other singers performing N'est ce plus ma main que cette main presse:


L'est-il donc à ce point que rien ne le ravive!
Écoute-moi! Rappelle-toi!
N'est-ce plus ma main que cette main presse?
N'est-ce plus ma voix?
N'est-elle pour toi plus une caresse,
tout comme autrefois?
Et ces yeux, jadis pour toi pleins de charmes,
ne brillent-ils plus à travers mes larmes?
Ne suis-je plus moi?
N'ai-je plus mon nom?
Ah ! regarde-moi! Regarde-moi!
N'est-ce plus ma main que cette main presse,
tout comme autrefois? etc.

English Libretto or Translation:

Is it so dead that nothing can bring it back to life?
Listen to me! Remember!
Is this no longer my hand pressing yours?
Is this no longer my voice?
Is it no more for you like a caress,
just as it used to be?
And my eyes, at one time full of charm for you,
are they no longer sparkling through my tears?
Am I no longer myself?
Have I no longer my name?
Ah! Look at me, look at me!
Is this no longer my hand pressing yours,
just as it used to do? etc.

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