Manon at the Met

Metropolitan Opera House

Image via Wikipedia

This will have to be a short post because it is now 11.20pm and we have just returned from The Met.  Yes, the New York Metropolitan Opera House where we saw a performance of Manon with Anna Netrebko in the title role.  Again I have to admit that I didn’t fly over to New York for the performance but saw it as part of the Metropolitan Opera Series – The MetLive in HD – at our local bijoux cinema.

As I said in an earlier post it was almost as good as being there.  And we did get to see interviews with the stars and the stage being set during the intervals; so maybe it was even better than being there.

Fish risotto

Photo - Ian Wallace

Supper was served during the first interval.  My choice this time was a smoked fish risotto followed by coffee.  Because there is such a short interval supper is ordered before the performance and is served as one comes out.  Great service and good food.

So to the opera – do you know the story of Jules Massenet‘s  Manon?  It’s a simple tale of a country girl who has been sent to Paris to join a convent because her family think her too exuberant.  Her cousin is charged with meeting her and getting her to the convent.  However, while he is away with his friends, Manon meets Chevalier des Grieux and their attraction is immediate.

So they flee together and set up residence in a one room apartment.  But Manon is attracted to the good life and gives up her ‘true love’ to follow her dreams of riches and fun.

She becomes the toast of Paris and is kept by several wealthy men.  However, she learns that her ‘true love’ has never recovered from her betrayal and is going to take holy vows.  She tracks him down and entices him away from the religious life (after much fighting, soul searching and angst on his part) and they live the kind of life that Manon loves.

Click here for the synopsis that I just found on the web.

It was a very long night.  The performance started at 6.30pm, two short breaks of 20 minutes each and it finished at 11.05pm.  Good job I live 4 minutes away by car; luckily my friend brought her car.

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24 responses to “Manon at the Met

  1. Hi Judith, I saw “Manon” in Paris in the same cinematic way and it was brilliant! Making opera available to all. Thank you for your most interesting blogs, even though I am very remiss not to comment more. Love Kay in Paris

    • Hi Kay. I went with our mutual friend, Carol. We always go when the opera is on at The Penthouse. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the comment. Look out for a long email coming your way very soon. Love Judith in Wellington 🙂

  2. What a lovely evening…if long. I did not know about this opera. I will tell my friend who is fluent in French and has told me about the movies Jean de Florette and Manon des sources. I will have to keep an eye out for it possibly coming near us.

    • I didn’t know about the two movies but looking at Wikipedia they are based Marcel Pagnol’s books. Thanks for bringing them to my attention – if I could read French I would be tempted to hunt them down.

  3. My mother-in-law and her friends drive up to the Chicago suburbs all the time to see Live at the Met, but they don’t have a dinner included during the intermission. That sounds like a great idea!

    • This is very much a bijoux theatre with a thriving cafe. We sometimes go there just for a coffee and usually have dinner there if we are going to the movies. In fact, it is so close to home that we walk there and so can have a glass of wine to take into the cinema with us,

  4. Thanks, Judith. I was particularly interested in this for two reasons: 1) Manon Lescaut, the novel on which the opera is based, was one of my set books in my first term of French at university. 2) My granddaughter manages a cinema in Switzerland which also has this facility for showing live performances from the Met. Your plate of risotto looks very tempting, too!

    • Sorry it was such a short and hurried post. I didn’t know the story of Manon and so it was all new to me. We are so lucky to be able to see these world renowned artists for such a modest sum. 🙂

  5. Christine in Los Angeles

    Judith, do you remember that when we were young(er), theater performances in London always had a light meal served during the intermission. I imagine you ordered when you booked your seats, or when you arrived.
    God bless, Christine
    ps – How’s the grandson?

    • Oh big sister, that was so long ago but I vaguely remember it. We didn’t frequent the theatre very much then did we?
      Rob is getting on well. Look out for an email winging your way with the family news. 🙂

  6. Now that I am “an opera fiend”, “Manon” is high on my list. Tis a grand story and of course, must be fraught with tragedy. As always, I love your posts, and it is so strange we are writing about the same things at the same time.

    • Hi Dor – I didn’t know anything about Manon and so was entranced as the story unfolded. And of course the synchronicity between us is amazing.

  7. I am not familiar with that one. I’ve always wondered about seeing those productions at the cinema. Glad that it was such a good experience.

    • It is almost better than being there. We see the players up close and get to see behind the scenes too. This is the third one of these I have seen and am looking forward tot he next.

  8. More and more I feel like some of these HD experiences actually are better than being there.

  9. Sounds like a FUN night, Judith.

  10. 32 years ago, I took my son, (who was 8 and had asked to go,) to see the ballet Manon performed in a Big Top on Plymouth’s central park. He was entranced and went on to study dance and perform in musical theatre in London’s West End. Thanks for bringing back those memories with this lovely post, Judith!

    • Oh I am so glad that the post brought on those lovely memories for you. Does your son still dance?

      • Sadly, no – he gave up 10 years ago, when he was 30 (all because of a woman, who almost destroyed our family with her crazy antics.) But he has a lovely wife and baby girl now. It has all worked out in the end!

  11. I am so glad that all worked out well int he end for your son and the rest of your family.

  12. Pingback: Thanks and an Opera | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

  13. Pingback: More Opera | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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