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Composer: Jules Massenet
Librettist: Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille
Rudel; Swenson, Sabbatini, de Candia, PlishkaMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 22 min.
Who can resist the charms of Manon or remain unmoved by her fate? Ruth Ann Swenson takes on Massenet’s title heroine, the equally beautiful and high-spirited young girl who turns her back on life in a convent when she meets the handsome des Grieux (Giuseppe Sabbatini)—only to be seduced by the promise of a luxurious existence as the mistress of the...
Cleva; Albanese, Di Stefano, Singher, HinesMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 21 min.
The great Licia Albanese sings the bewitching title heroine in this scintillating performance of Massenet’s opera, an adaptation of Abbé Prévost’s famous novel, opposite a passionate Giuseppe Di Stefano as Des Grieux. Martial Singher and Jerome Hines round out the cast of this tale of an all-consuming love affair that ends in tragedy and death. Fau...
López-Cobos; Fleming, Giordano, Chaignaud, TianMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 27 min.
Massenet had a special gift for creating beguiling female characters that audiences can never get enough of—and that great sopranos long to perform. For many opera lovers, the enchanting but destructive Manon counts among his greatest achievements. Certainly Renée Fleming in the title role gives a dazzling tour de force: she’s equally at home with ...
Schippers; Moffo, Gedda, Guarrera, TozziMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 15 min.
“For Manon I could have given up my hopes of heaven itself,” declares her lover des Grieux—after utterly ruining himself for her and following her into a destitute exile in an alien country. In Massenet’s adaptation of Abbé Prévost’s novel, Anna Moffo is a perfect Manon—beautiful, enticing, and offering the promise of pleasure that makes everything...
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Librettist: Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica
Adler; Kabaivanska, Tucker, WalkerMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 1 hrs. 59 min.
This was the opera that first brought Puccini fame—and in this passionate performance, starring Raina Kabaivanska in the title role opposite Richard Tucker as des Grieux, it’s easy to see why. The two characters’ tumultuous relationship sends off musical sparks, as both of their lives are invariably altered by the experience. After a chance meeting...
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Librettist: Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa, Giulio Ricordi
Molinari-Pradelli; Tebaldi, Alexander, GuarreraMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 1 hrs. 52 min.
The legendary Renata Tebaldi had a special affinity for Puccini. It wasn’t only that her rich, mahogany sound delivered his soaring vocal lines so beautifully, that her voice would rise triumphantly over the most dramatic orchestral climaxes, or soar in the most haunting pianissimo. It was also that she gave every word its own special timbre, makin...
Levine; Scotto, Domingo, ElviraMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 1 hrs. 58 min.
Critics praised James Levine’s dramatic, heart-on-the-sleeve conducting which went right to the core of this youthful Puccini opera. It certainly inspired this sensational cast to an overwhelming performance. Renata Scotto is Manon Lescaut, the enticing young woman who chooses to run away with Des Grieux (Plácido Domingo) instead of going to a conv...
Antonicelli; Kirsten, Björling, Valdengo,Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 1 hrs. 49 min.
Puccini’s early opera captures all the youthful ardor of the scandalous story of Manon Lescaut. A gripping Dorothy Kirsten plays the desirable young girl being shipped off to a convent, who falls in love with Des Grieux (the sensational Jussi Björling) and leads him to ruin. When the story was first published in the 18th century it was meant as a w...
Mitropoulos; Albanese, Björling, GuarreraMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 1 min.
The love, longing, despair, and tragedy in Puccini’s early score that made this opera his first big success are personified by a remarkable cast and conductor in this touching performance. Jussi Björling is the young des Grieux in love with the title heroine. The entrancing Licia Albanese plays the object of his affection, and conductor Dimitri Mit...
Composer: Richard Wagner
Librettist: Richard Wagner
Reiner; de los Angeles, Schöffler, Hopf, Pechner, GreindlMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 45 min.
Legendary conductor Fritz Reiner leads a magical performance of Wagner’s only comic opera. Victoria de los Angeles is an enchanting Eva, the young woman whose husband must be a Mastersinger—so says her father Pogner (Josef Greindl). But the knight she loves, Walther (Hans Hopf), doesn’t know any of the Mastersinger Guild’s rules, and his pedantic r...
Levine; Mattila, Heppner, Magnusson, Weikl, Prey, RooteringMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 4 hrs. 25 min.
James Levine’s love for Wagner’s great human comedy is evident in every measure of this performance, with the Met’s orchestra and chorus in thrilling form. Ben Heppner (Walther) and Karita Mattila (Eva) play the young couple in love, whose future happiness is threatened by the town clerk Beckmesser (Hermann Prey at the height of his powers), who wa...
Schippers; Lorengar, King, Driscoll, Adam, Kusche, FlagelloMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 51 min.
In Wagner’s colorful portrait of medieval Nuremberg, the wealthy Pogner (Ezio Flagello) promises his beautiful daughter Eva (Pilar Lorengar) in marriage to the winner of a song contest. But the girl has already set her sights on the handsome Walther (James King). Naturally, various obstacles have to be overcome before the happy conclusion. Benno Ku...
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