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Kenneth MacMillan’s powerful telling of Manon and Des Grieux’s tragic love is a masterpiece of modern ballet, set to music by Massenet.
Choreography: Kenneth MacMillan
Music: Jules Massenet
Conductor: Martin Yates
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Part of The Royal Opera House live cinema season.
Kenneth MacMillan’s masterpiece of modern ballet is revived this Season as part of continuing celebrations of MacMillan’s profound impact on British ballet, to mark the 25th anniversary of his death.
Manon’s brother Lescaut is offering her to the highest bidder when she meets Des Grieux and falls in love. They elope to Paris, but when Monsieur G.M. offers Manon a life of luxury as his mistress she can’t resist.
Kenneth MacMillan’s source for Manon was the 18th-century French novel by Abbé Prévost, already adapted for opera by Massenet and Puccini. Renowned dance musician Leighton Lucas and his assistant Hilda Gaunt provided a score drawn from across Massenet’s music, including his famous yearning Elégie as the theme for the lovers. The premiere was given on 7 March 1974, with the lead roles of Manon and Des Grieux danced by Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. The ballet quickly became a staple of The Royal Ballet’s repertory, and a touchstone of adult, dramatic dance.
The performance lasts about 2 hours 35 minutes, including two intervals
Tickets: Adult £15, Student/Child £12, Family of four (2+2) £46