Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon star in this performance of the Massenet opera with Daniel Barenboim conducting the Staats Kapelle Berlin in this 2 DVD set.
Manon Lescaut, Puccini`s first major success, is a work of impassioned emotions based on the 18th-century novel by Abbe Prevost, depicting the doomed infatuation of Chevalier des Grieux for beautiful, fun-loving Manon. Puccini clothes the story in warmly passionate music that makes a direct appeal to the listener`s emotions. "Manon", wrote Puccini to his publisher Giulio Ricordi in 1889, "is a heroine I believe in and therefore she cannot fail to win the heart of the public." This turned out to be a truly prophetic statement since none of Puccini's other world successes were received on their first nights as rapturously as Manon Lescaut. The popularity of Puccini's great masterpiece has never waned and the production at the Chemnitz Opera House was hailed as "a magnificent event" and "moments we go to the opera for."