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Manon is a co-production of the School of Music and Theatre at UBC
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Chan Shun Concert Hall, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
March 4 - March 6, 2004, 8:00 p.m and
March 7, 2004, 3:00 p.m.

manon by chatiniereThe UBC Opera Ensemble and Theatre UBC present a traditional production of Massenet's Manon at the Chan Centre in four performances March 4 through 7, 2004. In the ongoing exchange with artists from the Usti nad Labem Opera Theatre in the Czech Republic UBC invites conductor, Norbert Baxa to return to the podium and welcomes current Czech opera sensation tenor, Ales Briscein to perform the role of the Chevalier des Grieux. The production will be directed by Nancy Hermiston.

Recent UBC opera productions of Mozart's The Magic Flute and Smetana's The Bartered Bride have received rave reviews from audience members and critics alike: "Here the singers had a maturity and command of the difficult but thrilling music of this great work far beyond what is generallye xpected of a student company."

Two of the three UBC Music Students, Rhoslyn Jones, Justin Welsh, and Neema Bickersteth, who recently won at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Western Canada District Auditions will be staring in this production of Manon. In the March 4th & 6th performances Rhoslyn Jones is in the role of Manon while Justin Welsh is Lescaut. The Seattle round of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions will be held February 29th. By opening night we will know if any of our students will have advanced to the final round in New York.

Short synopsis: Manon by Jules Massenet: (first performed January 19, 1884) Manon, a beautiful young woman from the French countryside, escorted by her cousin Lescaut, is on her way to live in a convent. She finds on this, her first journey, that men are captivated by her. Enjoying the attention she craves more. The Chevalier des Grieux, himself about to enter a monastery, sees Manon at a roadside inn. They fall in love at once and run off to Paris together. The opera, based on a novel by Abbé Prévost, was written for audiences of the Opéra-Comique in Paris. This story of first innocent love is set during the early 18th Century, a period of notoriously corrupt times in France, which somewhat paralleled Massenet's own time. Through the opera we find that love may not conquer all as, in the end, broken in body and spirit Manon dies in the arms of her love.

The opera will be sung in French with English sur-titles.

Manon Resource Guide
Bibliography and Internet Sites

Abbe Prevost d'Exiles, Manon Lescault, the Story of Manon Lescaut and the Chevalier des Grieux, translated from the original text of 1731 by Helen Waddell; illustrated by Pierre Brissaud. New York, Heritage Press, 1935

Irvine, Demar, Massenet: A Chronicle of His Life and Times, Dover Pubications, February 1994

Nichols, Roger The Art of French song : 19th and 20th Century Repertoire : Complete with Translations and Guidance on Pronunciation, London ; New York : Edition Peters, c1999.

About the Composer, Jules Massenet (1842 - 1912)

Manon Character Synopsis

Manon Synopsis

Manon Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series, e-book: Adobe Reader, by Burton Fisher,

Synopsis of the Opera Manon

Using Manon to Teach Humanities

Using Manon to Teach Music



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