ROBERT HUGILL was at
Chelsea Opera Group's performance of
Puccini's 'Manon Lescaut'
Puccini's opera Manon Lescaut was his third opera and his first major success; it was the opera which identified him as a possible successor to Verdi and showed what he was capable of. In some respects it was an unlikely success as the subject matter for the opera was based on the same source (Abbé Prévost's novel) as Massenet's Manon. But Puccini was bullish about the choice and insisted that his treatment would be entirely different.
That Puccini's opera was chosen for Chelsea Opera Group's concert at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday 5 June 2011 is testament to how rare the piece is in regular operatic life in the UK. English National Opera performed it during their re-building season and the Royal Opera House had a brief flirtation with it, but despite a wealth of musical and dramatic incident, the piece does not seem to have quite taken on these shores...
Copyright © 8 June 2011