Puccini’s opera, dedicated to the character of one of those “little women” of people who raises their complex character, is performed by Anna Netrebko, with the support of her husband and tenor Yusif Aivazov.
Guy Montavon’s theatrical representation directs the character of Manon Lescaut toward the embodiment of a petty narcissistic feminine rather than liberated and wanted, following the novel intended to be more enlightening than modernism by Abbé Prévost. Hank Irwin Keitel’s collections revolve around a mosaic portrait of the beautiful Manon, like a fragmented and scattered figure. Thus the psychological cracks of the heroine are projected and crystallized on the walls of the different places that follow each other during the four actions of the score.
Walls strewn with vertical and luminous units denote the mortal confinement: the golden cage, the run into exile, the hermetic separation between the two spaces occupied by Manon and Des Grieux, at the time of death. The desert, mentioned in the written text, indicates the loneliness felt by Manon, in an environment that has become barren and dark, when de Greio, instead of being drowned at her feet, with holy light, is called to leave the stage and to transcend his human condition.
The movement is carried into the 21st century (according to Christopher Kempf’s eclectic and graphic fashion). Their diversity is like a fashion show, performed by choirs and extras, and skillfully orchestrated by Géronte reminiscent of Karl Lagerfeld. His board is dominated by black and white, which can be considered a life-size domino game.
For her part, Manon completes a journey, moving from cloth to cloth: the habit of the nun, the plaster-covered Vestal, the prisoner’s suit … Old Gironte, a fine artist, makes his sculpture using strips of wet plaster directly on the floor: directly on the body of the woman he keeps ( in an unexpected scene). Guy Montafon, who also signs Spotlight, comments on the various paintings with cool neon or golden halos, echoing the wall color changes, from violet to pink, from red, blue and green to light beige, and finally to the black and white of the last scene.
Manon Lescott takes in Russian soprano Anna Netrebko to replace the struggling Maria Agresta. It guarantees, in all its vocal abilities, the direct, raw, realistic and above all instinctive dimension of the character who does not succeed in uniting the material and amorous aspirations in him. The distinguished Puccini ferries find within them a pioneering ship capable of traversing the most dangerous and demanding voyages entrusted to premium gives of the exception. All recordings have their own beauty, which the singer unites, thanks to her breath, posture, sense of dynamics and ability to knead the sound, by accentuating the oral “m”, precisely present in the word love.
Azerbaijani tenor Yusuf Aivazov is the jockey Renato de Greux, arrogant, steely, strong. He is never so relaxed as in drama, meditation or even begging, while for other moods he is capable of very large and frantic amplifications. His way of entering the song, all mass, facing the orchestra from the front, sometimes with a jerk, and then identifying it, shows the singer’s artistic and lyrical potential. Her duet with Manon is an opportunity to notice just how close they are, even if Netrebko, for her part, prefers to rest gently on the orchestral material to better wrap there.
Lescaut is amazingly embodied by the Italian baritone Claudio Sjura, with a timbre as sharp and deep as his slender body, one which he uses so flexibly. This has an effect on the gaseous hydration of its bell (a thousand bombsthe text says), with his sister, of pure true lore.
Alessandro Spina’s bass composes the stunning Géronte, in its ability to swing from the power of age, creativity, aging, and oppression. The ductile instrument, rare for this tessitura, with a black-gold bell, with a slowly settling patina, makes him an old man physically unreliable, yet intractable to the voice.
Portuguese tenor Luis Gomez borrows his stage play for Edmundo from foodie traditions, while his light voice, with a clear timbre, more nose than nose, really plays his part in beginning drama.
Italian mezzo-soprano actress Loriana Castellano occupies the role of Master of Music, so briefly as her shaded bell, the color of a cloud before a storm, delicately brings the ancient distraction that Géronte provided to his beauty, always on the brink of boredom: a madrigal, teasing some thoughts.
Luca Vianello depicts the innkeeper comfortably within its walls, his body and his voice, a plea of goodness from a lightly roasted bell, while Rémy Mathieu, tenor of Nice, former member of the Petits Chanteurs de Monaco, is in turn a master ballerina and the lamp, the roles played by tender air, As well as a welcome stinginess in the use of vibration.
The musical direction of Pinchas Steinberg is the same as eternal youth. It involves the battalions that respond like one man to the energetic, enthusiastic, exhilarating and turbulent concept of the robotic part. She follows the singers step-by-step, through the featured pairs, as she can number their reflections elsewhere with the exquisite textures of the soloists. The harp is particularly noted by the body and the resonance emanating from it, while this instrument is often understood in an ethereal and transparent manner, but all sections incorporate Puccini’s grandiose orchestra.
The choirs, excellently prepared as usual by choir director Stefano Visconti, are seamlessly integrated into the plot and deploy their powerful abilities to produce such long waves, that swell, Sensitive to blatanta feature of the composer’s emotional writing.
The salute, which is made under the flag of Ukraine (by a colored banner, in place of the numbering), is reserved for the artistic team, the enthusiasm, as evident in the hall as on the stage, for a show that connects beauty with freedom.