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First performed on February 23rd, 1856 at the Opera-Comique in Paris. A garret in Paris. The Marquis d Hérigny is being led to the home of a girl he fancies - Manon Lescaut. The good-for-nothing he has paid to bring him there is Lescaut, Manon s cousin. They encounter Marguerite, Manon s friend and neighbour, and leave. We meet Manon. She hates work and longs for a life of luxurious comfort. Enter her true love Des Grieux with 600 francs - cause for celebration! Dinner at Madame Bancelin s restaurant and dancing-hall, including Marguerite and her workers, and Lescaut, fifteen in all. At the end of the meal it transpires that Lescaut has meanwhile gambled away the 600 francs and there is now no way to pay the bill. Des Grieux reappears with more money, but he has procured it by enlisting in the army - the Marquis regiment. The Marquis refuses Manon s entreaties to release Des Grieux. The next day Des Grieux escapes the barracks and goes to the Marquis who is pressing his advantage with Manon. There is commotion and a sword fight in which the Marquis is badly injured. Manon and Des Grieux are arrested. The scene changes to a plantation in Louisiana where we find Marguerite. Manon arrives with a group of female prisoners. Enter Des Grieux, who explains how he managed to board her ship and follow her to America. After Des Grieux locks the guard in the cellar, Marguerite and her fiancé smuggle the two out of the plantation and bring them to the desert to hide. There they ask God to marry them. Exhausted and terrified, Manon dies in Des Grieux arms.
Archive :: production:T1294929230, opera or operetta:S0481551840, venue:V1850998411
Sung in French
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