Manon Lescaut PROMO


Manon Lescaut

Giacomo Puccini

2h 7m
Spanish , English

The fact that the Berliner Philharmoniker turned to Puccini – this beloved yet ostracized composer – is symbolic. Here is someone who was thought to be outmoded for a long time, but there is really so much more to be discovered about him and his work. The tale of one who becomes a model but remains a girl, is very contemporary.

Opera in four acts

Music by Giacomo Puccini after Histoire du Chevalier Des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut des Abbé Prévost

Berliner Philharmoniker

Philharmonia Choir Vienna


Artistic team

Conductor | Sir Simon Rattle

Director | Richard Eyre

Stage designer | Robert Howell

Costume designer | Fotini Dimou

Lighting designer | Peter Mumford



Manon Lescaut | Eva-Maria Westbroek

Lescaut | Lester Lynch

Chevalier Renato Des Grieux | Massimo Giordano

Geronte de Ravoir | Liang Li

Edmond | Bogdan Mihai

Inn-keeper | Reinhard Dorn

Singer | Magdalena Kožená

Dancing Master | Kresimir Spicer

Lamp-lighter | Arthur Espiritu

Sergeant | Johannes Kammler


Teatro Real
Giacomo Puccini
Nicola Luisotti, Bob Wilson

Giacomo Puccini’s last opera needs no introduction. After a 20 year absence, Turandot returns to the Teatro Real in a new production by one of the greatest stage directors of the 20th and 21st centuries: Robert Wilson, the creator of unforgettable images in The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic and Pelléas et Mélisande.


In a cast led by Nina Stemme, Gregory Kunde and Yolanda Auyanet, the Associate Musical Director of the Teatro Real, Nicola Luisotti, conducts one of the greatest operas of Italian repertory.


Teatro Real
Giacomo Puccini
Paolo Carignani, Richard Jones

The starting point for La bohème and its entire creative process up until  the first performance of the opera in Turin’s Teatro Regio on 1 February 1896 is documented in minute detail in the abundant correspondence between Giacomo Puccini, his publisher and mentor Giulio Ricordi, and the librettists Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. The latter began their stormy, yet fruitful, collaboration with this opera and went on to write the librettos for Tosca and Madama Butterfly.


Starting with the book Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger (1882-1861), originally a series of autobiographical stories published in a magazine, the two librettists, closely supervised by Puccini, built an ensemble plot in which four young bohemian artists confront financial difficulties and bad weather with humour and good cheer, finding their way in an effervescent, bustling, wintry Paris.


A love affair between one of them, aspiring poet Rodolfo, and the seamstress Mimi is cut short by her death. We watch the story move from the pleasures and dreams of youth to the solidity of real life, with all its problems.


With his sublime orchestral palette, his mastery of poetic rhythm and his enormous talent for drama, Puccini builds the personalities of the young people with his usual skill, contrasting sparkling anecdotes and fun with deep and heartfelt passions. Their short, conversational phrases are interlaced with others of much greater melodic and dramatic power. The orchestration is expressive and effective, suggesting tiny details such as flickering flames or jingling coins, while setting scenes in an almost cinematic fashion, from the chilly garret to the busy streets of Paris at Christmas time, or the loneliness and deprivation of poverty.


Past moments are evoked like flashes of memory by a masterly use of musical motifs associated with emotions or even objects to which Puccini gives great symbolic significance: Mimi’s candle, the pink bonnet Rodolfo buys for her, Colline’s overcoat, or the muff which warms the heroine’s hands on her deathbed…These moments which come and go in our memory, concealed and then revealed in the everyday affairs which make up our lives, are the narrative thread running through this new production of La bohème, which was broadcast live.


The prestigious British stage director Richard Jones and the set and costume designer Stewart Laing present the opera as a series of scenes from bohemian life, without hiding the backstage work that usually goes on behind the scenes. The audience can see how the sets are changed, how different devices are used to create theatrical effects, and how props are piled up in the wings, like scraps of life crammed into our memory.


From their vantage point, the audience watches the past and present of the characters at the same time, unable to immerse themselves in the cold, bright Paris of the young bohemians because they will always see it depicted on stage. But this ‘play within a play’ device, which blurs real time and theatre time, the auditorium and the stage, drama and metaphor, will bring the audience to a richer interpretation of Puccini’s work, enhanced by viewing it from different angles, with all its images.

Royal Opera House
Giacomo Puccini
Antonio Pappano, Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier

Puccini’s Japanese tragedy Madama Butterfly is given a ravishing production by The Royal Opera. Alluring images of Japan as seen in the 19th-century European imagination reflect the work’s intense depiction of the clash of East and West.


When the American naval officer Pinkerton seduces the young ‘Butterfly’ Cio-Cio-San, he seems to promise every happiness – but his cruel abandonment leads to her tragic self-sacrifice. Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera and renowned for his interpretations of Puccini, conducts an exceptionally fine cast with the Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Powerful performances show why Madama Butterfly remains one of the all-time operatic favourites.


With the collaboration of Naxos

Torre del Lago Puccini Festival
Giacomo Puccini
Alberto Veronesi, Lorenzo Amato

Although one of his most consistently lyrical operas, La Rondine (The Swallow) remains one of Puccini’s least known. Dissatisfied with the results of his work, Puccini wrote three versions, with two different endings, and continued to make further revisions up to his death in 1924.


The innovative 2007 production at Torre del Lago Giacomo Puccini Festival, presented in this programme, is in effect a fourth version, which combines Act I and II of the first version (1917), with Lorenzo Ferrero’s 1994 orchestration of parts of the finale of Act III oft he incomplete third version (1921), some of which had survived only in piano score, as well as Ruggero’s Act I romanza "Parigi è la città dei desideri", from the second version (1920).


With the collaboration of Naxos

Teatro Real
Giacomo Puccini
Maurizio Benini, Nuria Espert

A magnificent production by Nuria Espert, in which Daniela Dessí plays Puccini’s heroine, with Fabio Armiliato as Cavaradossi and Ruggero Raimondi as the villainous Scarpia.


A newspaper once asked, in reference to Rinaldo, why anti-heroes were so fascinating to audiences. We might ask the same about Scarpia, who thrills opera fans the world over when he sings “Più forte! Più forte!” while he tortures Cavaradossi. Or when we hear Tosca sing beside his corpse, “E avanti a lui tremava tutta Roma!”, we feel she could have loved this villain had she not met her painter. But Tosca lives for art and love, so she tells Cavaradossi to give his painting of Mary Magdalene black eyes. She also wants the Virgin as witness when she kisses her lover. It’s hard to imagine a more assured tearjerker than in these scenes by Sardou, accompanied by the sweeping score of the great Giacomo Puccini.

Torre del Lago Puccini Festival
Giacomo Puccini
Valerio Galli, Mario Corradi

Tosca, Giacomo Puccini's fifth opera, was first staged at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 14th January 1900. The opera initially stirred contrasting reactions among the public and critics. Whilst the latter generally expressed strong reservations, the public appreciated the opera greatly and decreed a success that has never waned since that date. The libretto was entrusted to Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, back in partnership after Manon Lescaut and Bohème.


From its first appearance in 1887, Tosca had proved to be one of the most popular dramas of Victorien Sardou (1831-1908), who had written it to suit Sarah Bernhardt. Sardou's theatre was essentially based on plot, enriched however by precise realistic and psychological touches. For Puccini, the encounter with Sardou's theatre basically meant an incursion into the sphere of the "verismo" melodrama, from which the composer had always kept his distance. His human and musical sensitivity was, indeed, far removed from the coarseness of verismo, and, substantially, Tosca thus represented an exception.


Yet it was an exception in which all the most typical situations of verismo stood out in, we might say, concentrated form: events follow one another in a crescendo of tension and drama. Puccini was too refined a musician to insist too heavily on the more truculent aspects of the plot, and his music frequently tones down the crudity of the situations. 


With the collaboration of Naxos

Latvian National Opera
Various authors
Sesto Quatrini, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra

Critics praise her and the audience loves her - Kristine Opolais, the primadonna and the star of the New York Metropolitan opera in a splendid solo concert at the Latvian National Opera. The programme includes arias both from operas that brought Kristine international acclaim and pieces that will be included in her future repertoire.


The beautiful programme, mostly dedicated to Italian music, will encourage you to dream about love and think about what is truly important. It will touch your heart in many ways.