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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » November 29, 2012
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Opera and Business
November 29, 2012   
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A new production of Manon Lescaut, an opera by Giacomo Puccini directed by Mariusz Treliński, premiered at Warsaw’s Wielki Theater/National Opera Oct. 23. The premiere was part of the 140th anniversary celebrations of the Shiseido cosmetics company, which recently became the Opera’s partner and sponsor.

Manon Lescaut, which Puccini wrote in 1893, is based on a short novel of the same title by Abbé Prévost. The opera tells the story of a priest who abandons his cassock for the love of a girl. Originally, the story is set in 18th-century France and America, but Treliński has transplanted it to the contemporary world, setting the plot at a subway station in a big city.

Treliński said, “The original opera is about constant traveling, as the story begins in Amiens and then relocates to Paris, Le Havre and New Orleans. We have replaced those with subway stations, that is, stages of love, fascination and the protagonist’s downfall. The entire story basically takes place in his mind; it is a subjective narrative.”

Soprano Amanda Echalaz takes on the role of Manon and the cast includes Mikołaj Zalasiński, Thiago Arancam, Marek Gasztecki and Pavlo Tolstoy. The conductor is Patrick Fournillier and the sets were designed by Boris Kudlicka.
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