Applicable to Sundays only

Overview

Manon Lescaut

The opera which made Puccini’s name and settled his music in the hearts of us all.

 

June | 21, 26, 28, July | 5, 12

 

Composer | Giacomo Puccini

Librettist | M. Praga, D. Oliva, G. Ricordi, L. Illica

Orchestra | Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

 

Sung in Italian

 

Puccini scored his first major success with this tragic depiction of urgent young love. Manon chooses luxury over love and pays the ultimate price. She is pursued across the Atlantic by her soulmate Chevalier Des Grieux and dies in his arms. 

Packed with soaring melodies, and infused with raw emotion and a desperate sense of desolation, tears will flow and passions will boil. We are thrilled to present a new production created by the internationally renowned director Stephen Lawless and conducted by Italian star Francesco Cilluffo, returning after his triumphant Falstaff.  

Elin Pritchard returns to The Grange as Manon following her success as Alice in Falstaff in 2018; 2017 Grange Festival International Singing Competition finalist Samuel Sakker sings Des Grieux. 

Public booking begins on 10 March 2020. For priority booking, please sign up as a Festival Friend.

 

Production Team
See bio

Francesco Cilluffo

Conductor

See bio

Stephen Lawles

Director

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Adrian Linford

Designer

Francesco Cilluffo’s current and future engagements include Verdi Requiem and Falstaff The Grange Festival, La Voix humaine (with Anna Caterina Antonacci), Cavalleria rusticana Cremona, Como and Pavia, L’italiana in Algeri Opera Toulon, Miseria e Nobiltà at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Isabeau Opera Holland Park and New York City Opera, Aida Circuito Lombardo, L’Oracolo, Mala vita Wexford Festival and Falstaff Circuito Marchigiano.

Born in Turin, he received his conducting and composition degree from the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi and graduated in Musicology from Turin University. He continued his studies in London, where he was awarded Master in Composition (with distinction) Guildhall School of Music and Drama and a PhD in Composition King’s College, London.

Stephen Lawless’ current engagements include Le nozze di Figaro (Palm Beach)‚ Romeo et Juliette (Barcelona)‚ Anna Bolena (Canadian Opera Company)‚ Roberto Devereux (San Francisco) and Katya Kabanova (Scottish Opera).

Other productions include Don Giovanni (Metropolitan Opera), Boris Godonov (Vienna Staatsoper);  Der Fliegende HolländerDaphneCapriccioSemele, Cav & Pag (New York City Opera); Il trovatoreVanessa‚ and L’elisir d’amore (Washington and Philadelphia); Un ballo in mascheraIl trovatoreL’elisir d’amoreDon Pasquale, Falstaff (Los Angeles); Capriccio, Boris Godonov (San Francisco); Le nozze di Figaro, La bohème (Chicago); Le nozze di FigaroCav and Pag‚  La clemenza di TitoMaria StuardaAnna Bolena, Boris Godonov (Dallas); Scarlatti’s Griselda (Deutsche Staatsoper); Boris Godonov, Un ballo in maschera (La Fenice); Orfeo‚  Tancredi, Iolanta, Francesca da Rimini (Theater an der Wien); Die Fledermaus (Geneva, Beijing); Death in Venice, Falstaff, Die Fledermaus (Glyndebourne); Le nozze di FigaroToscaDer Rosenkavalier, Un ballo in maschera (Hong Kong Festival); Peter GrimesDie FledermausOtello, William Tell (Graz); Acis and GalateaVenus and AdonisDido and Aeneas‚  Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena (Innsbruck); Salome, Ring Cycle (Nürnberg); Maria Stuarda (Toronto); L’elisir d’amoreFaust, Romeo et Juliette, Carmen (Santa Fe)‚ Der Rosenkavalier (Boshoi), OtelloDie Fledermaus (Korea)‚ The Flying Dutchman (Washington);  Le nozze di Figaro (Kansas and Philadelphia); La clemenza di Tito (St Louis) and Rusalka (Magdeburg).

Adrian trained at the Wimbledon School of Art in London. 

UK productions include The Castle, The Tyrant, Eugene OneginCosi fan tutte, The Witch of Edmonton and the environment for the New Writing So & So Hopeful season this summer (London); Star Quality, Betrayal, Family Voices, The Glass Menagerie, The Maids, the UK premiere of Lorca’s When Five Years Pass (Edinburgh Fringe First Award), Blood Wedding, Iphigenia at Aulis, The Shoemakers Wonderful Wife, and Yerma.

Work abroad includes Il turco in Italia (Angers Nantes Opera and Theatres de la Ville,  Luxembourg), Sunday in the Park with George (Theatre du Chatelet), Falstaff  (LA Opera), Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse du Gerolstein (Santa Fe Opera), Orfeo Ed Eurydice with David Daniels (Minnesota Opera), The Bald Soprano and The Maids in New York, ARTA Twist of Fate (world premiere)Blithe Spirit (Sing

Other productions include Sondheim’s Assassins for Pimlico Opera, new writing at The Finborough includes Tango ’til you’re sore, The Chain Saw Manicure and Acid hearts, The Turn of the Screw (Macedonian Opera), Die Fledermaus and Katya Kabanova(Scottish Opera), and co-designed Il Trovatore (Bastille Opera, directed by Francesca Zambello).

This year Adrian is working on a production of The Rake’s Progress for Royal Academy of Music which opens in March, Rigoletto for Santa Fe Opera opening in July, and a new play Dear Lupin, staring James Fox which starts it’s UK tour in April.

Cast
See bio

Elin Pritchard

Manon Lescaut

See bio

Nicholas Lester

Lescaut

See bio

Samuel Sakker

Des Grieux

See bio

Stephen Richardson

Geronte

See bio

Kamil Bien

Edmondo

See bio

Angharad Lyddon

Musician

Welsh Soprano Elin Pritchard is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is also a Samling Artist.

Her operatic roles have included Micaëla Carmen, Female Chorus The Rape of Lucretia, Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw, Nella Gianni Schicchi, Giorgetta Il tabarro, Musetta La bohème, Lucia Lucia di Lammermoor and Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress. Recent and future engagements include Nedda I Pagliacci and Kupava The Snow Maiden (Opera North), Marie Daughter of the Regiment (Buxton Festival), Tatyana Eugene Onegin and  Violetta La traviata (Den Jyske Opera), and Micaëla (WNO).

On the concert platform recent and future engagements include Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Poulenc Gloria with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  The Apostles at Canterbury Cathedral, Brahms Requiem with the Ulster Orchestra and Opera Galas for the Samling Foundation.

Nicholas Lester studied at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music and the National Opera Studio‚ sponsored by Glyndebourne. He was a State Opera of South Australia Young Artist, a recipient of an Independent Opera/NOS Postgraduate Voice Fellowship‚ awards from the Simon Fletcher and Tait Memorial Trusts, and Glyndebourne’s Anne Woods/Johanna Peters Award, and is grateful for support from Chris Ball and Serena Fenwick.

 

Recent and future engagements include: title role in Glass’ Orphée , Cascada The Marry Widow, Marcello La bohème (ENO); Marcello (New Zealand Opera), Eugene Onegin, Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia (WNO); Ford Falstaff (Grange Festival); Guglielmo‚ Dandini La Cenerentola, Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia, Frédéric Lakmé (Opera Holland Park); Marcello, Valentin Faust (Dorset Opera Festival); Chou En-Lai Nixon in China, Josef K in Glass’s The Trial‚ Germano La scala di seta‚ Dr Malatesta Don Pasquale, Ping Turandot (Scottish Opera); Guglielmo (Danish National Opera); Marco Pandora’s Box, Daddy Bear Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs (The Opera Story); Escamillo (Mid Wales Opera); Gianni Schicchi (Amsterdam). Concerts include Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen for Maurice Béjart’s ballet Song of a Wayfarer (English National Ballet)‚ Brahms Requiem (Beijing)‚ Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs (CBSO)‚ Fauré Requiem (St Martin-in-the-Fields) and Messiah conducted by Laurence Cummings.

Sakker opens his 2018/19 season in Australia where he makes his role debut as David Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the State Opera of South Australia. He then continues to make notable role, house and orchestral debuts including Don Josè Carmen with the Danish National Opera; Erik Die Fliegende Holländer for Opéra du Rennes & Opéra Angers/Nantes; Tikhon & Boris Katya Kabanova with Scottish Opera; the title role in Lili Boulanger’s Faust et Hélène with both the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra & BBC Symphony Orchestra; tenor soloist in Tipett’s A Child of our Time with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; and performs the title role in Liszt’s opera Sardanapalo at Souni dal Golfo Festival, Italy. Further ahead Sakker will make role debuts as Pollione Norma, Des Grieux Manon Lescaut, Laca Jenufa, and Ulrik in William Alwyn’s Miss Julie.

A former Royal Opera House company principal, Sakker’s previous highlights include Erik Der Fliegende Holländer (Nederlandse Reisopera & Cape Town Opera); Laertes in the Australian premier of Brett Dean’s Hamlet (Adelaide Festival); Cavaradossi Tosca (English Touring Opera); Alfredo La traviata (Royal Opera House & New Zealand Opera); James Nolan in the inaugural recording of Dr Atomic (BBC Symphony Orchestra), which was also performed in concert at the Barbican under the baton of John Adams; tenor soloist Das lied von der Erde (Royal Ballet & English National Ballet); Alfredo La traviata and Baroncelli Rienzi (Melbourne Opera); and roles for Opera Australia, West Australian Opera and Opera Queensland. From 2014-16 he was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House.

Winner of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra prize at the inaugural Grange Festival International Singing Competition, he has also received awards from the Ian Potter Cultural Foundation, and the International Opera Awards. On the concert platform he has performed as tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem alongside Albina Shagimuratova, Joyce DiDonato and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano in Japan; Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Barbican Hall/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra); Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with The Royal Ballet; Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at the Anghiari Festival in Italy; Mozart Requiem at London’s Cadogan Hall; Bottesini’s Messa da Requiem for the Brisbane Festival; as a soloist in Hyde Park for the Last Night of the BBC Proms; Nessun Dorma for the British Summer Time Festival in London’s Hyde Park; and Opera Gala Concerts at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, the Bridgwater Hall, Manchester, and Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.

 

Stephen Richardson studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has created roles in operas including Thomas Adès’s The Tempest, Tan Dun’s Tea and Barry’s The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit, The Intelligence Park and The Importance of Being Earnest. He also sang Commander in the UK premiere of Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale (ENO) and performed in world premieres of works by John Tavener including The Apocalypse and Fall and Resurrection.

Recent engagements include Baron Ochs Der Rosankavalier (Bolshoi‚ Moscow and Opera North), Simone Gianni Schicchi, Dikoj Kát’a Kabanová, The General Silent Night and Dansker Billy Budd (Opera North), Dansker (Rome), Doctor Bartolo Le nozze di Figaro (Garsington and Grange Park Opera), title role The Mikado (Scottish Opera); Hotel Manager Powder Her Face and Timur Turandot (Northern Ireland Opera), Sir Joshua Cramer The Intelligence Park (Linbury Theatre, Music Theatre Wales). Further highlights include Mr Flint Billy Budd, Stefano The Tempest and Hobson Peter Grimes (ROH), Baron Ochs and Daland The Flying Dutchman (ENO), Rocco Fidelio (Opera Holland Park), Don Quichotte Le Chevalier Imaginaire (Ensemble Intercontemporain) title role Falstaff and Sarastro Die Zauberflöte (Opera Australia).

Richardson has sung in concert with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and London Sinfonietta and recorded widely.

Kamil is a master’s student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying with Janice Chapman.

Kamil has performed extensively in both Poland and the UK, where has won various prizes. Significantly, he was awarded the 3rd Prize in the 51st International Antonin Dvorak Singing Competition in Karlsbad as well as the George Fischer Prize for the best interpretation of a Mozart’s Aria (Czech Republic, 2016), 1st prize in the inaugural International Vocal Competition of Sacred Music ‘Arts Et Gloria’ (Poland, 2016), the Jan Kiepura Prize (2016), the Young Singer’s Prize at the 24th Riccardo Zandonai International Singing Competition (Italy, 2017), the James Martin Onken Song Prize (Manchester, 2016) as well as the Bridgette Fassbender Prize for Lieder (2018).

Kamil has performed with various ensembles, including the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Zabrzańska Philharmonic Orchestra. His operatic experience includes performances at The Grange Festival – Don Curzio Le Nozze di Figaro (2019) and at the RNCM – Messenger and the Interpreter in the Pilgrim’s Progress; Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon; The Merry Widow and Street Scene.

 

Mezzo-Soprano Angharad Lyddon is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music.

She made her professional debut for English National Opera in 2015 as Kate in Pirates of Penzance, performing the role again in their 2017 revival. In 2019, Angharad sang the role of Daughter of Akhnaten in ENO’s production of Akhnaten.

Other roles include Flosshilde in Das Rheingold (Grimeborn Festival), Olga in Eugene Onegin (Buxton Festival Opera), Hansel in Iford Arts’ Gingerbread, Julia Bertram in Mansfield Park (The Grange Festival) and Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Åbo Svenska Theater in Finland).

Angharad is a Samling Artist and concert highlights include the roles of Marta and Pantalis in a concert performance of Mefistofele for Chelsea Opera Group, Mozart’s Requiem at Windsor Castle, Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bach Cantatas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall.

Following her success at the 2018 Welsh Singer Showcase at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Gareth Jones, Angharad represented Wales in the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and was a Finalist in the Song Prize competition.

Synopsis
Act I

A square in Amiens, France. Edmondo, a songwriter, and his student companions flirt with some factory girls. His friend, des Grieux, also a student, stays apart from them. A coach arrives, bringing Geronte, a tax collector, and Lescaut, a soldier, who is accompanying his younger sister, Manon. Des Grieux falls in love with her at first sight, finds out that her father is sending her to a convent, and makes plans
to prevent this from happening. But Geronte, with Lescaut’s connivance, intends to abduct Manon. Edmondo overhears his plans and warns des Grieux, who escapes with Manon to Paris. Lescaut consoles Geronte by telling him that Manon will not stay long with a student and that he will bring her back to him.

Act II

A house in Paris. Manon has left des Grieux and is living a life of luxury with Geronte. She’s bored and her brother promises to arrange for des Grieux to visit her. Some singers serenade Manon with a madrigal written by Geronte. Then she dances and sings for him and his friends. When they leave she tells Geronte that she will follow shortly, but des Grieux appears and Manon starts to seduce him. Geronte interrupts their lovemaking, chillingly threatens the two of them, and leaves, telling them he will return soon. Lescaut runs in, warning the lovers that Geronte is going to get Manon arrested and that she must escape. She delays, trying to collect her jewellery, but is arrested before she can escape.

Act III

Dawn, outside a prison in Le Havre by the harbour. Des Grieux waits outside the prison where Manon is held. Lescaut bribes a sentry to allow his sister to spend time with des Grieux, while he organises a group to enable her escape. The effort fails, a shot is fired. Townspeople run in. The soldiers restore order and the captain of the ship processes Manon and the other prisoners—mostly prostitutes—before they are deported. In desperation des Grieux grabs Lescaut’s weapon and threatens the captain, who faces him down. Des Grieux pleads with the captain to be allowed to sail with them as one of the crew.

Act IV

A desert. Des Grieux and Manon are on the run. They are at the end of their strength, collapsing from thirst and exhaustion. Des Grieux leaves Manon, searching for water. When he returns, he finds her dying. In her last breath she says she loves him.