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  • Puccini - Manon Lescaut (Metropolitan Opera) [DVD] [2008]
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Puccini - Manon Lescaut (Metropolitan Opera) [DVD] [2008]


Price: £11.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
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Frequently Bought Together

Puccini - Manon Lescaut (Metropolitan Opera) [DVD] [2008] + Puccini - La Boheme [The Metropolitan Opera HD Live 2008] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Karita Mattila, Marcello Giordani, Dwayne Croft, Dale Travis, James Levine
  • Directors: Gina Lapinski
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Italian, German, English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: EMI Classics
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Sept. 2008
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DHE9KQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,777 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Puccini's first successful opera, the tale of a beautiful young woman destroyed by her conflicting needs for love and luxury, returns to the MET under the baton of James Levine. Finnish soprano, Karita Mattila, gives a career high performance in the title role.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Chs Burbidge on 31 Jan. 2009
Verified Purchase
What on earth possessed the Met to engage Karita Mattila for the title role? As she candidly admits to Renee Fleming in the between acts interview, she is now 47 and she is just not convincing as a young and coquettish Manon. Her voice remains strong across a wide range but has a
maturity beyond the needs of this role. It would be more understandable if Mattila was reprising a role that made her famous but this is the first time she has sung Manon on stage ! The last act of Puccini's opera in the wilderness of Louisiana can be heart rending but I remained totally unmoved by Mattila'a "Sola,perduta,abbandonata". Marcello Giordani sings competently but is lacklustre as Des Grieux - but who can blame him ? Other parts are well sung, notably Dwayne Croft as Lescaut but his singing just reminds me of the same part he took in that wonderful Met recording with the wonderful Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti also conducted by James Levine.

Chris Burbidge
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 17 Sept. 2012
I was very disappointed with this - I had borrowed a mates copy of the version with Cura and Guleghina (TDK) and after reading the amazon reviews on it, totally agreed with what was being said. So, as my two other DVDs were quite old recordings (the Met 1980 and ROH 1983) and the Cura version wasn't very satifying, I decided to invest in this new Met recording. Unfortunately, although all three of these productions are good, the two recordings from the 1980s leave this one in the third division and struggling to avoid relegation.
With the current dearth of excellent tenors available, what on earth possessed the Met to employ Marcelo Giordani as Des Grieux? He is wooden, removed from the action, possesses limited acting skills and sings only competently (in fact, on a couple of occasions, he made me cringe). My wife often says of such performances, '...it was nice of him to turn up'. I feel that it would have been nicer if he had stayed at home!
I have always admired Karita Mattila and was one of the few to defend her against the critisism of her Tosca at the Met. Here, though, she is totaly out of depth and I really wish she hadn't done this. She doesn't look right, her acting is right either and her voice does not suit this role. It is nothing to do with her age, as one reviewer suggested - Scotto was older when she sang it here in 1980 and so was Freni when she recorded it with Pavarotti in the 1990s - she is just wrong for the role. Perfect examples can be found in Act II - compare her 'In quelle trine morbide..' with Freni and Scotto and I think you will see what I mean.
I also agree with the reviwer who commented that hearing Dwane Croft only served to remind us of what we were missing from the wonderful studio recording with Freni and Pavarotti.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Grade A on 24 Mar. 2009
You can usually rely on the Met to produce solid operas with a few forays into the spectacular.

Manon Lescaut, however, is a disappointment - its flaws are too obvious. The casting of the two leads do not work. Manon Lescaut, herself, has a look and voice too mature for the role, and this impacts Des Grieux who seems disinterested. People fall in love quickly in operas, but from the moment Karita Mattila disembarks from the carriage, you know this is going to be a struggle to make this believable; and hence Act 1 is strangely disengaging, which in turn has an ill effect on the whole opera.

As neither Mattila nor Giordani are the top singers in their field and, this, combined with the ropey casting, means this version of Manon Lescaut is flat. This is a shame as, musically, this is one of Puccini's better scores and the Pit in this production perform a fabulous job.

Unfortunately this all adds up to a recommendation to seek Manon Lescaut out, but not this version. If you would like an introduction to the Met Operas on DVD, I would recommend their version of La Boheme (available on this site)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Juan on 17 Oct. 2013
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Puccini's Manon is one of my favorites works by the composer from Lucca, full of beautiful melodies and themes during the whole score. Karita Mattila has a very special voice that transmit many feelings, and her own voice color tends to sadness, which is particularly special during acts 3 & 4. Marcelo Giordani is a good tenor but not so as an actor. In this case Domingo's Des Grieux with Renata Scotto is more passionate. Dwayne Croft has never been one of my favorites baritones. That russian accent makes me feel sick. I prefer Thomas Allen (with Kiri) and Pablo Elvira (Renata). Maestro James Levine know perfectly this music and the best of all, know perfectly the human voice, so he can managed the Met forces the way he wants. The production is the same one with Scotto and Domingo.
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I was interested that a 5-star reviewer at the American Amazon.com admits Karita Matilla is too old for her part and then shrugs and says, So what? The male lead is too old as well, so forget it. Such may not matter in Aida or Turandot, but these are fatal flaws in a dvd production of Manon. When she alighted from the coach in Act 1, she looked for all the world like a maiden aunt chaperone and I kept searching for Manon. It took me a while to catch on and no wonder. Karita Matilla is 32 years older than (three times the age of!) the delicious and flammable 16 year old temptress en route to the convent.

Another 5-star reviewer is positively dazzled and writes, "I have no trouble believing [Karita Matilla] is a teenager. . . . " This assertion astounds me! At 48, she is cruelly miscast for a young DVD role. Her game mannerisms and gestures only emphasize how securely she belongs in an older generation. The younger she tries to be, the more pathetic the result, as when we're shown Ms. Matilla, who is almost 50, coquettishly bouncing on the bed in Act Two! She was cruelly treated when she was handed this assignment. It's not her fault she is closer to Gloria Swanson in SUNSET BOULEVARD than a 16 year old Manon.

Marcello ("Stand and Deliver") Giordani as Des Grieux is also 25 years too old for the part and reenforces the middle aged hue that's cast on the stage, despite the lovely, period stage sets that, unlike the casting of the two leads, are true to the story.

In most cases, I'm for kindness, gallantry and playing "Let's Pretend", but there's just too much to overlook here. Turn away from this one.
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