Dessay kaufmann

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Dessay kaufmann

Lyric Opera of Chicago picked the ideal vehicle to open its season Saturday night: Jules Massenet's "Manon," a showpiece for great singing, acting, dancing and stagecraft. And when it comes to great singing, the Lyric has cast what general director William Mason calls "two of today's most extraordinary stars," in French soprano Natalie Dessay in the title role and German tenor Jonas Kaufmann as her on-again, off-again paramour, the Chevalier des Grieux.

It worked so well in the hands of opera composer Jules Massenet in that his Italian counterpart, Giacomo Puccini, created his own successful version for the stage intitled "Manon Lescaut. But inthe opera world is blessed with a superstar French coloratura soprano in Dessay, who brings spectacular artistry to one of the great French opera roles, which is now firmly established as as a major element of her repertoire.

Dessay did not disappoint Saturday night, bringing all the drama and nuance Massenet and his librettists, Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille, created for thr multi-faceted character of Manon Lescaut. And this opera doesn't begin and end with the leading soprano.

Dessay kaufmann

You must also have a world-class tenor to portray De Grieux, who loves Manon deeply but is hurt deeply to see her stray into the arms of a rival in the middle part of the opera.

Kaufmann, who made his Lyric Opera debut as Cassio in "Otello" in and returned as Alfredo in "La traviata" the following season, shows how much he has grown as an artist in the intervening years as he takes on this challenging role for the first time.

Most operas make do with one or two love duets, but Massenet has written four. Two of them are spectacular: Des Grieux" at the final curtain. The strong supporting cast is uniformly excellent.


Of particular note is American tenor David Cangelosi, who has made a career of bringing creative musicality to often-overlooked character roles.

In this case, there could hardly be a better fit than for the middle-aged Guillot de Morfontaine. But cut through the outer buffoonery fluffy powdered wig and cane, etc. Cangelosi brings out all Guillot's frolics and foibles, still reserving a hint of the character's subtle villainy. His unit set designed by Tanya McCallin has a timeless look, with McCallin's traditional costumes firmly planting the opera in the reign of Louis XV, in the midth century.

Stage lighting is usually hidden, but McVicar, in collaboration with lighting designer Paule Constable, has visibly integrated them into the scenery to dramatic effect.

Massenet's haunting score, with its recurring note "Manon" theme prominent in the first half of the opera before things really become dramatic in Acts 4 and 5is conducted with passion by Emmanuel Villaume, at home in his native French repertoire.

Donald Nally's Lyric Opera Chorus acquitted itself with its usual virtuosty throughout the evening, in particular the large crowd scenes of the Paris Cours-la-Reine in Act 3 which also included a fine contribution from the Lyric's ballet corps and the lively casino scene in Act 4.

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Dessay kaufmann

Manon at Lyric Opera of Chicago. A funny thing happened on the way to the convent. Manon Lescaut, a pretty little girl with a taste for pretty things, became sidetracked by a pretty young man. Manon (Natalie Dessay) and Des Grieux (Jonas Kaufmann) have fallen in love.

Act I, Manon. Manon, Chicago, 27 September Dessay, Kaufmann bring "Manon" to life at Lyric Opera Lyric Opera of Chicago picked the ideal vehicle to open its season Saturday night: Jules Massenet's "Manon," a showpiece for great singing, acting, dancing and stagecraft.

Manon (Natalie Dessay) and Des Grieux (Jonas Kaufmann) meet and fall in love while she awaits her coach to the convent.

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Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations! Sign in. Watch Queue Queue. Chevalier des Grieux (Jonas Kaufmann, seated) angers the powerful Guillot de Morfontaine (David Cangelosi, standing, bareheaded) by winning at cards as Manon (Natalie Dessay) looks on; edited image, based on Robert Kusel photograph, courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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