【Manon】Synopsis, Character Map

Manon: Character Map, opera

Manon is an opera in five acts written by Jules Massenet. It is the love story of Manon Lescaut, a beautiful woman, and De Grieux, a knight. Among the highlights of Manon are “Adieu, notre petite table” and “Ah! Fuyez, douce image”.


Manon, Opera: Character Map

Manon: Character Map, opera
Manon, Opera: Character Map

Manon, Opera: Roles

Manon Lescautsoprano
Le Chevalier des Grieuxknighttenor
LescautManon’s cousinbaritone
Le Comte des GrieuxDes Grieux’s fatherbass
Guillot de Morfontainetenor
Monsieur de Brétignybaritone
Poussettean actresssoprano
Javottean actressmezzo-soprano
Rosettean actressmezzo-soprano
Manon, Opera: Roles
  • Native title: Manon
  • Language: French
  • Composers: Jules Massenet
  • Librettist: Henri Meilhac, Philippe Gille
  • Based on: Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost
  • Premiere: January 19, 1884, Opéra-Comique, Paris
  • Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (Act 1: 40 minutes, Act 2: 20 minutes, Act 3: 50 minutes, Act 4: 20 minutes, Act 5: 20 minutes)

Manon, Opera: Synopsis

Guillot, an old nobleman, and De Brétigny, a nobleman, come to the inn with three prostitutes. A carriage arrives with guests. Among them is the beautiful Manon, and her cousin Lescaut greets her. Manon has come to town to enter a convent. Guillot suggests that Manon has a carriage to escape. Des Grieux arrives at the inn. Des Grieux and Manon fall in love. In Guillot’s carriage, they go to Paris.

Des Grieux and Manon live in an apartment in Paris. Lescaut and De Brétigny visit them. De Brétigny tells Manon about the plan by Des Grieux’s father to kidnap him and his proposal for a luxurious life. Manon chooses a luxurious life. (“Adieu, notre petite table”)

A well-dressed Manon appears on the promenade in Paris. Manon is being helped with money by De Brétigny and Guillot. Des Grieux’s father greets De Brétigny and tells him that Des Grieux has entered the seminary. Manon hears their conversation and heads for the seminary. Des Grieux is making an effort to forget Manon. (“Ah! Fuyez, douce image”) Des Grieux and Manon are reunited and return to their former lives.

Manon and Des Grieux are trying to make money at a gambling den. Des Grieux wins the bet against Guillot, but Guillot returns with the police. They are busted.

Des Grieux is released. Manon is convicted. Lescaut bribes an official so that Manon and Des Grieux can talk for a little while. Manon, weakened by illness, passes away in Des Grieux’s arms.