Stage director Olivier Py much-lauded production

Play Manon.




“Preachers, you who want to restore me to virtue, tell me that virtue is absolutely necessary, but do not hide from me that it is also harsh and painful.”
A.-F. Prévost, L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut (1732) (first part)

When Abbé Antoine-François Prévost wrote L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut in 1731, he little imagined it would provide inspiration for operatic composers. Yet for Auber, Massenet, Puccini and others it did. Jules Massenet's score portrays the French Regency period which saw the twilight of an old world unable to move forward and the apparent birth of a new world offering plentiful promises of freedom. Manon is a complex character, torn between the two. She avoids being sent to a convent and embarks on a life of lasciviousness and wrongdoing. Her personal leap into the void is her passionate but self-destructive love affair with Des Grieux, a brief but delightful parenthesis which comes to a tragic end.

Stage director Olivier Py, in his much-lauded production for the Grand Théâtre de Genève, eludes the historical trap of 18th-century libertinage to create associations with memorable but vulgar scenes in sordid, commonplace brothels. One of his images is unforgettable: that of Des Grieux finding Manon in a state of prostration but adorning herself with jewels which can do nothing to restore happiness or meaning to her life.

The opera Massenet drew from Prévost's novel was premiered at the Opéra-Comique in 1884. Touched by the entrancingly spontaneous music, the audience were able to overlook the protagonists' amoral and tortuous existence. Manon, who yearns above all for luxury and comfort, lapses into betrayal and prostitution and is sentenced to be deported to Louisiana. Her death in the arms of the powerless and remorseful Des Grieux carries a sobering message. From a misogynistic viewpoint, Manon's strength and ability to embody wrongdoing and moral ruin have made her a literary myth on a par with the likes of Cleopatra, Eve, Salome, Carmen or Lulu.

With the suport of:




Opéra comique in five acts
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille
World premiere: 19/1/1884 at the Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart) in Paris 
Barcelona premiere: 29/12/1894 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu 
Last Liceu performance: 9/7/2007 
Total number of Liceu performances: 145 

  • Approximate running time 2h 40m
    • First part 1h 35min
    • Interval 30min
    • Second part 1h

Artistic profile

Stage director
Olivier Py
Choreography for this version
Daniel Izzo
Set design
Pierre André Weitz
Costume design
Pierre André Weitz
Bertrand Killy
Musical Director Assistant
Romain Dumas
Grand Théâtre de Genève and Opéra-Comique (Paris)


20, 22, 23, 27 and 30 April and 3 May
21, 24, 26 and 29 April and 2 May
20, 22, 24, 27 and 30 April and 3 May
21, 23, 26 and 29 April and 2 May
20, 22, 24, 27 and 30 April and 3 May
21, 23, 26 and 29 April and 2 May
20, 22, 24, 27 and 30 April and 3 May
21, 23, 26 and 29 April and 2 May
Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Pablo Assante, director)
Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Marc Minkowski

Cast Changes

  • Tenor Michael Fabiano sings the part of chevalier Des Grieux replacing Javier Camarena, who will not make his role debut this season.
  • On the performance of April 23, Soprano Nadine Sierra sings the part of Manon replacing Amina Edris, due to pharyngitis.
  • On the performance of April 24, Soprano Amina Edris sings the part of Manon replacing Nadine Sierra.
  • Due to the overexertion carried out during the last weeks, Maestro Minkowski requires absolute rest for his arm injury. Manon's May 3 performance will be conducted by maestro Romain Dumas, assistant conductor to the maestro on this production.

En record de Victoria de los Ángeles

Aquest any 2023 és el centenari del naixement d’una de les veus més estimades del Liceu, la soprano Victoria de los Ángeles. Volem commemorar l’efemèride dedicant les funcions de Manon de Massenet a la seva memòria. Victoria de los Ángeles va cantar el rol de Manon en quatre temporades diferents, el qual va ser el que va interpretar més vegades a l’escenari del Liceu i el seu darrer personatge escenificat durant les funcions del gener del 1967, que van sumar un total de 12 representacions memorables.

April 2023

Turn B
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Turn A
Turn D
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Turn C AD
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May 2023

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Programa de mà

T'oferim l'opció de descarregar-te el programa de mà de forma gratuïta.

La prèvia

La prèvia és un podcast del Gran Teatre del Liceu. En aquest capítol parlem de Manon de Massenet, produït per La máquina de la luz i amb guió de Javier Blánquez.


Musical highlights of Manon, selected by Víctor Garcia de Gomar, artistic director of the Liceu.

La veu del Liceu

T’oferim un seguit d’articles, textos i informació addicional per endinsar-te en aquest títol.

Liceu Chronology

Consult the historical list of performances of Massenet's Manon at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.


Free Catalunya Música live stream on Saturday, April 22 at 7pm (CET). Not available for streaming worldwide, due to copyright or other clearance issues.