Summary Jules Massenet. Manon


Opera in five acts1

Libretto by A. Meliak and F. Gilles


Manon Lescaut





Mezzo soprano





Bass or baritone






Girlfriends Manon


Cavalier de Grieux

Count de Grieux, his father

Lesko, cousin of Manon

Guillot de Morfontaine

De Bretigny

The owner of the hotel

Two guards, a doorman of the seminary, a sergeant, a shooter, a player; noble ladies, signors, townspeople and townspeople of Amiens and Paris, travelers and travelers, porters, conductors, merchants and

merchants, mantis, players, and sharper.

Location: France.

Time: the beginning of the XVIII century.


Since Dumas son, the author of “The Lady with Camellias,” French literature has established the image of an elegant, fragile, sensual woman challenging bourgeois morality and perishing in a clash with life. The prototype of such images is the heroine of the story of the Abbot Prevost (1697-1793) “The History of Chevalier de Grieux and Manon Lescaut”, telling about the sad fate of a young man who wanted to devote himself to the church, and a frivolous girl who had ruined herself. This plot interested not only Massenet: it was used in the opera also by Ober (1856) and Puccini (1893). Massenet himself a few years after the creation of “Manon” returned to him, writing a one-act opera titled “Portrait of Manon” (libretto by Georges Bouillier, 1894).

Librettists A. Mehlak (1832-1897) and F. Gilles (1831-1901) developed the story on a wide, varied and juicy background. Here the courtyard of a provincial hotel and the noisy festive

square in Paris, the interior of the cathedral and the gambling house, the modest room de Grieux and the road to Le Havre, over which convicts are held. A large place is given to the painting of colorful pictures of the urban life of France in the 18th century, various social strata of society and human types. However, in the center of the libretto is the fate of two lovers.

The opera was completed in 1881. The first performance took place on January 19, 1884 in Paris, on the stage of the Comic Opera Theater.

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Summary Jules Massenet. Manon