Currently on stage at De Nationale Opera – Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam, NL

Manon Lescaut is an opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini first performed at the Turin Teatro Regio in 1893. Based on the 1731 novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost, its libretto is of very confused authorship (five librettists worked at it, plus the publisher and the composer himself).

A story about temptation and love, each of the four acts has a different setting in the libretto: Amiens: A large public square near the Paris Gate, A room in Geronte’s house in Paris, A square near the harbor in Le Havre, and A vast plain near the outskirts of the New Orleans territory.

Andrea Breth takes the action to the Louisiana desert where an exhausted Manon lives flashbacks and fast-forwards, living the episodes of her life.

Set designer Martin Zehetgruber renders the setting building a stage of dune-shaped platforms, and enclosing the scene with plain sand-colour flats which also slide to create spaces.

The bright-coloured costumes stand out on the plain sandy background.

The Dutch National Opera released an interesting video on the set being built.

Martin Zehetgruber – Manon Lescaut (G. Puccini) – 2016
StagingAndrea Breth
Set designMartin Zehetgruber
Costume designMoidele Bickel / Eva Dessacker
Light designAlexander Koppelmann
Photo creditsBernd Uhlig