Operagasm Review Rundown: Hated It – Manon Lescaut at Royal Opera House
by Melissa Wimbish
Ooh, somebody needs to go pull the weeds out of Covent Garden.
Rupert Christiansen of The Telegraph keeps it real in this review of Manon Lescaut, which happens to be the Royal Opera’s first mounting of it in 30 years. Guess it’s not like riding a bike after all… Check out the Operagasm Review Rundown!
Did we mention that we hated it?: “Jonathan Kent’s concept may sound acceptable in outline: predictably, it opts for a contemporary setting in which wide-eyed Manon arrives – from eastern Europe? – with her pimp of a brother at a sleazy casino and becomes the fluffy mistress of a banker. He forces her into soft porn (accompanied by the Act 2 pastorale) and then kicks her into sex-traffic hell when he discovers her two-timing.”
Help me Obi Watteau Kanobi, you’re my only hope: “In the title role, Kristine Opolais sings with all the lovely lyrical ache and poise that Puccini must have dreamt of, while nobly submitting to the humiliations Kent inflicts on her. I long to see her Manon dressed à la Watteau.”
Somewhat of a compliment: “No complaints about the conducting … Antonio Pappano has Puccini in his bones, and fired the music with all the heart-on-sleeve passion that the soulless production lacked.”