The Metropolitan Opera continues its season with one of Massenet’s most popular operas, “Manon.” A take on the quintessentially French tale of the beautiful young woman who is incapable of forsaking both love and luxury, “Manon” features one of the truly unforgettable, irresistible, and archetypal female characters in opera.
While the story is firmly set in class and gender issues of the past, the character of Manon herself is timeless, convincing, and familiar. The opera has been a success ever since its premiere, championed by a diverse roster of singers who have cherished its dramatic opportunities, exalted style, and ravishing music.
This showing has been pre-recorded and differs from the Met’s broadcast schedule. Showtime begins at Middlebury Town Hall Theater at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, and at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Rutland’s Paramount Theatre.
Making her role debut as the title heroine is American soprano Lisette Oropesa, who won both the Met’s Beverly Sills Artist Award and the Richard Tucker Award earlier this year. Michael Fabiano — a fellow winner of both the Sills and Tucker prizes — co-stars as Manon’s lover, the Chevalier des Grieux, alongside Artur Rucinski as Manon’s cousin Lescaut and Kwangchul Youn as the Chevalier’s father, the Comte des Grieux. Carlo Bosi, as Guillot de Morfontaine, and Brett Polegato, in his Met debut as de Brétigny, round out the principal cast. Maurizio Benini conducts Laurent Pelly’s production, which transports the action from its original 18th-century setting to the Belle Époque era of late 19th-century Paris.
In Middlebury, Jim Pugh will give a pre-show talk in the Byers Studio downstairs at Town Hall Theater at 12:15 with refreshments sponsored by the Opera Company of Middlebury.