«Manon» Ballet


Ballet in 3 acts


Choreography by Kenneth MACMILLAN

Premiere performance: March 7, 1974, the Royal Opera House, London

Premiere at the Astana Opera House: April 28-29, 2017

Libretto by Kenneth MacMillan

after L’Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by A.F. Prévost

Music by Jules Massenet

Orchestrated and Arranged by Martin Yates

Sets and Costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis

Staging by Karl Burnett and Patricia Ruanne

Music Director and Conductor – Arman Urazgaliyev

Set Coordinator – Cinzia Lo Fazio

Costume Coordinators – Natalia Stewart / Assel Dosmuratova

Lighting Designer – Jacopo Pantani

Artistic Director of the Ballet Company – Altynai AsylmuratovaPeople’s Artist of Russia

Performance has two intervals

Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes


Manon – Madina BasbayevaHonoured Worker of Kazakhstan /

Aigerim BeketayevaHonoured Worker of Kazakhstan

Des Grieux – Rustem SeitbekovHonoured Worker of Kazakhstan /

Olzhas Tarlanov

Lescaut  Bakhtiyar Adamzhan Arman Urazov

Lescaut’s Mistress  Anel Rustemova /

Gaukhar UssinaHonoured Worker of Kazakhstan

Monsieur GM – Zhanibek Imankulov

The Gaoler  Olzhas Makhanbetaliyev

Madame  Serina Sunagava

Beggar Chief  Nikolay Korshunov

Courtesans – Nazerke Aimukhametova Gulzira Zhantemir /

Assel Kussainova / Assel Shaikenova / Anastasia Zaklinskaya

Actresses – Indira Zhukeyeva / Madina Kuzhamzharova /

Dilyara Myngaliyeva / Moldir Shakimova

Gentlemen – Bekzat Orynbayev Gaziz Ryskulov Aibar Toktar

Clients – Zhanibek Akhmediyev / Zhanadil Beissembiyev / Sungat Kydyrbai /

Rakhmetulla Nauanov / Ildar Shakirzyanov

Harlots – Zhuldyz Zhumazhanova / Aizhan Kazhybayeva / Natalya Kondya /

Madina Kuzhamzharova / Dilyara Myngaliyeva / Assel Ospanbayeva /

Aidys Saaya / Yelena Semyonova / Seika Tonosaki / Adelina Tulepova /

Inna Chutkova / Moldir Shakimova

Old Man  Ruslan Temirbekov

Innkeeper – Altynai Kagazbayeva

Skivvies – Altynai Kagazbayeva / Aizhan Kazhybayeva

Beggar Boys and Girls, Townspeople, Rat-Catcher,

Servants, Guards, SoldiersFootmen, etc.


Management reserves the right to substitute performers



Scene 1: The courtyard of an Inn in Amiens (near Paris)

Actresses, young people, ladies of the demimonde and beggars bustle to and fro across thecourtyard of the Inn. Lescaut, an habitué of these parts, is also here to meet his sister Manon, who is about to enter a convent. A carriage comes bringing Monsieur G.M. and Madame. Here appears Des Grieux, a handsome student, in tight possession and engrossed with his books on theology. Manon and an Old Gentleman arrive. He is obviously attracted to Manon, but she only flirts with him. Having noticed this, Lescaut leads the Old Gentleman to the Inn to cut a deal with him over his sister. Manon suddenly runs into Des Grieux. She is embarrassed, touched, and also attracted to Des Grieux. They decide to flee together to Paris with the help of the money she managed to get from the Old Gentleman. Lescaut and the Old Gentleman come out of the Inn and find out that Manon has disappeared. Monsieur G.M. informs Lescaut that he is interested in his sister and offers money.Lescaut promises to find Manon and persuade her to accept Monsieur G.M.’s courtship.

Scene 2: Des Grieux’s lodgings in Paris

The young man is writing a letter to his father asking for money. Manon, filled with overwhelming love, interrupts him revealing her emotions. Des Grieux leaves to post the letter. Lescaut andMonsieur G.M. appearMonsieur G.Mbestows gifts upon Manon, who accepts them. Seeing thatMonsieur G.Mand his sister get along, Lescaut receives the fee for his services. Manon sadly bids farewell to the room where she was happy, and leaves with G.M. Des Grieux comes back. Lescautpromises to share his money with him, if he does not interfere with Manon and the wealthy G.M.’s affair. Destitute Des Grieux agrees.



Scene 1: A party at Madame’s Hotel Particulier (Paris)

Dressed to the nines girls flirt with male guests. Drunk Lescaut leads Des Grieux to the Hall. Manon and G.M. appear. Manon, overcoming the embarrassment of an unexpected meeting with Des Grieux, dances with her admirers. Des Grieux and Manon remain alone, and he persuades her to leave with him. Manon convinces Des Grieux to win a large sum of money from Monsieur G.M. at cards. The game begins. Des Grieux is caught cheating. In the midst of the brawl, the lovers escape.

Scene 2: Des Grieux’s lodgings

Manon and Des Grieux declare their love for one another. The young man is incensed by Manon’s bracelet, a present from G.M., causing a row between them. Monsieur G.M. appears along with the police, who bring the shackled Lescaut. Manon is arrested as a prostitute. A fight ensues, andLescaut is shot dead.



Scene 1: The Port in New Orleans

Guards and townspeople gather at the port. They watch the prisoners coming from the ship. Manon is among the young women sent there for being prostitutes. It is hard to know her – she is exhausted, her charm has disappeared. Des Grieux has followed her by pretending to be her husband. The Gaoler, taking a fancy to her, orders the guards to take Manon away.

Scene 2: The Gaoler’s room

Soldiers bring Manon. The Gaoler offers his goodwill in return for her benevolence. Manon is indifferent. The Gaoler rapes her, puts a bracelet on her wrist and embraces her. Suddenly Des Grieux enters in a rage, stabbing the Gaoler with his dagger. Manon and Des Grieux escape.

Scene 3: The Swamp of Louisiana

The exhausted fugitives hide in the swamp. In a delirious state, Manon recollects her past: the ghosts of bygone times pass before her eyes. Manon no longer dreams of wealth and luxury, she chooses love. However, losing her last strength, she dies in the arms of Des Grieux.


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