Young Eroticism in the Third French Republic
Massenet's 'Manon' returns to Rome,
reviewed by GIUSEPPE PENNISI
Twenty six years after its last series of performances, Jules Massenet's Manon is back at Rome's Teatro dell'Opera in a co-production with Montecarlo Opéra. The production (sets, costumes, staging) is clearly thought to be widely circulated. Thus, it is highly possible that it will be seen in other European theatres. The long opéra comique (two hours and 45 minutes, in Pierre Monteux's historical recording -- one of the very few to be unabridged) is divided in two parts: the first and the second acts and, after a half an hour intermission, the remaining three acts. The spoken parts in between musical numbers have, as intended, an orchestral accompaniment, as if in a melologue, there are a few touches of grand opéra (with the ballet not only at the Third Act -- the Cours de la Reine, but also in the background of the Fourth Act in the gambling room at the Hotel de Transilvanie, where one can feel the smell of Proust's brothels)...
Copyright © 20 June 2010