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 Asylmuratova, People’s Artist of Russia
Performance has two intervals
Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes
ROLES AND PERFORMERS:
Manon – Madina Basbayeva, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan /
Aigerim Beketayeva, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan
Des Grieux – Rustem Seitbekov, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan /
Lescaut – Bakhtiyar Adamzhan / Arman Urazov
Lescaut’s Mistress – Anel Rustemova /
Gaukhar Ussina, Honoured 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, Soldiers, Footmen, etc.
ARTISTS OF THE ASTANA OPERA AND BALLET COMPANY
Management reserves the right to substitute performers
Scene 1: The courtyard of an Inn in Amiens (near Paris)
Actresses, young people, ladies of the demi–monde 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. appear. Monsieur G.M. bestows gifts upon Manon, who accepts them. Seeing thatMonsieur G.M. and 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.