From “dream team“ of the opera stage to “dream team“ of classic and pop – Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón have long since conquered the entire world of music. Yet while their CD “Duets“ ranked third on the pop charts, the opera stage remains their preferred venue. And in Jules Massenet‘s “Manon,“ they have found a drama worthy of their combined talents.
Manon, the tragic heroine of Massenet‘s work, is torn between flirtatiousness and profound love, between frivolity and deep commitment. Netrebko seems predestined for this role, with her body language alternating between girlish, introspective and carefree, and her voice radiating brilliance, warmth, mystery and longing. As the impoverished young nobleman Des Grieux, Rolando Villazón compellingly depicts the burning passion of an ultimately doomed lover with his glowing, supple, slender tenor voice.
The glittering production‘s distinctly Hollywood touch is due to director Vincent Paterson, who makes his operatic debut with “Manon.“ Paterson knows what stars want: he worked his way up from dancer to director of music video clips and internationally renowned choreographer who has worked with Madonna, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, and staged several Broadway musicals. He also worked on films such as “Dancer in the Dark,“ “Evita“ and “The Birdcage.“ Paterson sees “Manon“ as a cinematic tale for the opera stage, Massenet‘s colorful music as a kind of film soundtrack.
This is why he put the accent clearly on glamour. “Barenboim infuses the appealing melodies with color, and is finely attuned to the emotional fragility that they express.“ (Süddeutsche Zeitung) As befits an event of such dimensions, one of the performances of the opera was projected on 70-square-meter screen on a major Berlin square in front of 20,000 people. This is a “Manon“ which appeals clear across the board to lovers of opera, movies, Broadway shows and beautiful people with gorgeous voices!





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