Royal Opera House Live in HD Presents: Manon
Live Broadcasts | 06/23/2018 | 1:00PM
Kenneth MacMillan’s powerful telling of Manon and Des Greiux’s tragic love is a masterpiece of modern ballet, set to music by Massenet
BALLET IN THREE ACTS
Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan
Music by Jules Massenet
Run Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes including two intermissions
Encore Broadcast. Original Performance May 3, 2018
Manon’s brother Lescaut is offering her to the highest bidder when she meets Des Grieux and falls in love. They elope to Paris, but when Monsieur G.M. offers Manon a life of luxury as his mistress she can’t resist. With the Lescauts’ encouragement Des Grieux cheats at cards in an attempt to win Monsieur G.M.’s fortune. They are caught. Manon is arrested as a prostitute and deported to New Orleans, followed by Des Grieux. On the run, Manon dies from exhaustion.
Kenneth MacMillan’s source for Manon was the 18th-century French novel already adapted for opera by Massenet and Puccini. The premiere was given on 7 March 1974, with the lead roles danced by Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. The ballet quickly became a staple of The Royal Ballet’s repertory, and a touchstone of adult, dramatic dance.
MacMillan found new sympathy with the capricious Manon and her struggle to escape poverty. Designs by his regular collaborator Nicholas Georgiadis reflect this, depicting a world of lavish splendour polluted by miserable destitution. MacMillan’s spectacular ensemble scenes for the whole Company create vivid, complex portraits of the distinct societies of Paris and New Orleans. But it is Manon and Des Grieux’s impassioned pas de deux – recalling the intensity of MacMillan’s earlier Romeo and Juliet – that drive this tragic story, and make Manon one of MacMillan’s most powerful dramas.
Royal Opera House Live in HD Season
The Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season 2017-18 is set to thrill audiences in more than 1500 cinemas in over 40 countries. Including some of The Royal Ballet’s much-loved classical repertory, the world’s top ballet, and four new productions, cinemas all over the globe will show the performances live from Covent Garden.
About The Royal Ballet:
The Royal Ballet is one of the great ballet companies of the world. Under the leadership of Director Kevin O’Hare, grand balletic tradition and an illustrious heritage are united with innovation, daring, and exceptional standards of artistry, creativity, and stagecraft to produce supreme theatre. It is a beacon in the cultural life of Britain and a driving force behind the development of ballet as an artform. From the Company’s base at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, today’s most dynamic and versatile dancers come together with a world-class orchestra and leading choreographers, composers, conductors, designers, and creative teams to share an awe-inspiring theatrical experience with diverse audiences worldwide. The Company’s commitment to enriching people’s lives through ballet is reflected in the deep relationships it forges through digital and learning platforms and international touring. The extensive repertory of The Royal Ballet follows a unique trajectory from 19th-century classics to the singular legacy of works by Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan and the compelling new canon of work by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor, Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon and Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett. Along with innovative commissions and choreographic initiatives by The Royal Ballet Studio Programme and strong links with The Royal Ballet School, the Company continues to refresh and surprise.