Anna Netrebko Takes on a New Met Role as the Heroine of Puccini’s Passionate Tragedy, Manon Lescaut

New York 11/14/2016 11:30:00 AM

Marcelo Álvarez makes his role debut as Manon’s lover, des Grieux


Three performances feature Kristine Opolais reprising her acclaimed interpretation of the title role, which she sang in the new production premiere last season


New York, NY (November 14, 2016)Anna Netrebko will add a new role to her wide-ranging Met repertory beginning November 14 when she sings her first company performances of the seductive, tragic heroine of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Marcelo Álvarez makes his role debut as Manon’s obsessed lover des Grieux, with Christopher Maltman stars as Manon’s brother Lescaut and Brindley Sherratt as Geronte, Manon’s older lover. The November 21, December 7, and December 10 performances will star Kristine Opolais as Manon, reprising a role she first sang with the company in last season’s premiere of Sir Richard Eyre’s staging. Marco Armiliato will conduct all performances of Manon Lescaut at the Met this season.

Anna Netrebko sings the title role of Manon Lescaut for the first time in North America. She has also sung the role of Manon Lescaut at Rome Opera, the Salzburg Festival, and earlier this year at the Bolshoi in Moscow. After making her company debut in 2002 as Natasha in the Met premiere of Prokofiev’s War and Peace, the Russian soprano has sung 17 roles with the company, including most recently Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth, and the title role in the Met premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. She can be seen later this season reprising Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Met and Paris Opera, Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata at La Scala, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth at the Bavarian State Opera, Leonora in Il Trovatore at the Vienna State Opera, and singing at the Met’s 50th Anniversary at Lincoln Center Gala.

Kristine Opolais has sung the title role of Manon Lescaut to great acclaim at the Met last season, as well as the Bavarian State Opera and at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. As one of the leading Puccini sopranos at the Met, last season, she also sang Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, and she filled in for a sick colleague as a last minute replacement for the HD performance and live radio broadcast as Mimì in La Bohème with the company in 2014. In 2013, she made her Met debut as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine. She will reprise Mimì in La Bohème this season, and following her performances as Manon Lescaut, she will star in the title role of the Met’s new production of Dvořák’s Rusalka, the title character in Puccini’s Tosca at the Baden-Baden Festival, and she will also sing at the Met’s 50th Anniversary at Lincoln Center Gala in May.

Marcelo Álvarez makes his role debut as des Grieux. He has sung more than 120 Met performances in 16 roles, most recently Calàf in Puccini’s Turandot, the lead tenor roles in the double bill of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, the title role in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, and Radamès in Verdi’s Aida. Later this season, he will sing Don José in Bizet’s Carmen with the company, followed by Cavaradossi in Tosca at the Baden-Baden Festival and Gustavo III in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera.

Christopher Maltman has sung Lescaut opposite Opolais in Manon Lescaut at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He made his Met debut as Harlekin in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos in 2005 and has subsequently sung four additional roles with the company: Silvio in Pagliacci, Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Eisenstein in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, and Figaro in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  Later this season, he will reprise Papageno in the holiday presentation of The Magic Flute at the Met.

Brindley Sherratt made his role debut as Geronte last season at the Met. In 2015, he made his company debut as Trulove in the rarely staged production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. Credits with other companies include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at the Vienna State Opera, Creon in Charpentier’s Médée and Fiesco in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the English National Opera, and Sparafucile in Verdi’s Rigoletto and the Blind Ballad Singer in Britten’s Gloriana at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He will star as Claggart in Britten’s Billy Budd at the Teatro Real in Madrid later this season.

Marco Armiliato has conducted over 380 performances with the Met since 1998, and this is the first time he has led Manon Lescaut with the company. In recent seasons, he has conducted performances at the Vienna State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Zurich Opera, and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. The Italian conductor can also be seen leading Aida, La Bohème, and Cyrano de Bergerac later this season with the company. During the week of November 21, Maestro Armiliato will conduct all six performances at the Met, including Manon Lescaut on November 21 and 25. This is a feat that very few conductors have done before and includes Music Director Emeritus James Levine, who conducted all of the performances in one week during the 1987-88 season.


Manon Lescaut Fun Facts

Based on Abbé Prévost’s novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut, Puccini’s opera Manon Lescaut made its world premiere in 1893 at the Teatro Regio di Torino. Puccini’s publisher opposed the composer’s idea to create another opera based on the story since Massenet had written Manon, based on Prévost’s book, to great success when it premiered in 1884. Despite his publisher’s wishes, Puccini went ahead and wrote Manon Lescaut. Puccini believed that there could be two operas about Manon, saying, “A woman like Manon can have more than one lover. Massenet feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with a desperate passion.”

Manon Lescaut has been performed 224 times by the Met. Its first Met performance was in the presence of the composer in 1907 starring Lina Cavalieri as Manon, Enrico Caruso as des Grieux, and Antonio Scotti as Lescaut. Frances Alda sang Manon a record 29 times with the company, Enrico Caruso sang des Grieux a record 37 performances with the Met, and Giuseppe De Luca sang the role of Lescaut a record 46 performances with the company.


Manon Lescaut Radio Broadcasts

The November 14 performance of Manon Lescaut will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74, as will the performances on November 21 and December 3. The November 14 performance will also be streamed live on the Met’s website,

The December 3 matinee performance will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.


For More Information

For more information on Manon Lescaut including casting by date, please click here.

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Manon Lescaut


Composer:                   Giacomo Puccini

Libretto:                       Domenico Oliva / Marco Praga / Giuseppe / Giacosa Luigi Illica



Monday, November 14, 2016, 8:00 pm

Friday, November 18, 2016, 8:00 pm

Monday, November 21, 2016, 8:00 pm

Friday, November 25, 2016, 8:00 pm

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 8:00 pm

Saturday, December 3, 2016, 12:30 pm

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 8:00 pm

Saturday, December 10, 2016, 8:00 pm


Conductor:                   Marco Armiliato          

Production:                   Sir Richard Eyre

Set Designer:                Rob Howell

Costume Designer:        Fotini Dimou

Lighting Designer:         Peter Mumford

Choreographer:            Sara Erde


Manon Lescaut:            Anna Netrebko            (Nov. 14, 18, 25, 30; Dec. 3mat)

   Kristine Opolais            (Nov. 21; Dec. 7, 10eve)

des Grieux:                   Marcelo Álvarez  

Lescaut:                       Christopher Maltman

Geronte:                       Brindley Sherratt 

Musician:                     Avery Amereau

Edmondo:                    Zach Borichevsky

Dancing Master:           Scott Scully

Lamplighter:                  Tony Stevenson

Innkeeper:                    Philip Cokorinos

Sergeant:                      David Crawford

Captain:                        Richard Bernstein

First Madrigal:              Maria D’Amato

Second Madrigal:          Christina Thomson Anderson

Third Madrigal:             Stephanie Chigas 


*Met debut


Co-production of the Metropolitan Opera and Festival Hall Baden-Baden


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