NPR logo Featured Artists in Massenet's 'Manon'


Featured Artists in Massenet's 'Manon'

From the Vienna State Opera

Anna Netrebko has a reputation for compelling portrayals of conflicted women in operas such as Verdi's La Traviata and Massenet's Manon. Photo: J. Henry Fair hide caption

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Photo: J. Henry Fair

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Complete Cast of 'Manon'

Anna Netrebko (Manon); Roberto Alagna (Des Grieux); Ain Anger (Count des Grieux); Adrian Eröd(Lescaut); Simina Ivan (Poussette); Sophie Marilley(Javotte); Juliette Mars (Rosette); Michael Roider (Guillot); In-Sung Sim (Bretigny); Hans Peter Kammerer (Innkeeper); Hiro Ijichi (1st Guardsman); Jeong-Ho Kim (2nd Guardsman); Elisabeth van der Vloedt (Maid); Jacek Krzyszkowski (spoken role, Le Portier); Michael Wilder (Sergeant); Wolfram Igor Derntl (Soldier)

Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Bertrand de Billy

Lyric tenor Roberto Alagna is famous for his romantic lead roles and for his collaborations with his wife, soprano Angela Gheorghiu. Studio Harcourt hide caption

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Studio Harcourt

Soprano Anna Netrebko portrays the conflicted title character, and tenor Roberto Alagna sings Des Grieux, her only hope for true love, in Jules Massenet's passionate opera Manon from the Vienna State Opera.

Anna Netrebko

Soprano (Manon)

Anna Netrebko was born in Krasnodar, in southern Russia. She studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and in 1993 won first prize in Moscow's National Glinka Competition. That prompted an invitation from the famed mezzo-soprano Irina Arkhipova to take part in a concert at the Bolshoi Opera.

Netrebko came to prominence singing in Russian operas, including an important debut at the San Francisco Opera in Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila in 1995, and in many productions with the Kirov Opera, led by Valery Gergiev.

Her Metropolitan Opera debut came in 2002 as Natasha Rostova in Prokofiev's War and Peace. Since then Netrebko's career has taken off; she's now regarded as one of the most important sopranos of the day.

As her repertoire has grown, Netrebko has appeared at many of the world's major opera houses, including performances of La Traviata at the Vienna Staatsoper, Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She's also made appearances at the Los Angeles Opera, the Bavarian State Opera and the Washington National Opera.

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Netrebko can be heard on many recordings for the Philips and Deutsche Grammophon labels. She's also known for her flair for fashion, appearing on the pages magazines including Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair. In 2003 the German magazine Opernwelt named Netrebko 'Female Singer of the Year.'

Roberto Alagna

Tenor (Chevalier Des Grieux)

Roberto Alagna was born in France to Sicilian parents. After studying music in Paris, he won first prize in the 1988 Luciano Pavarotti International Competition in Philadelphia, and made his stage debut as Alfredo in La Traviata with the Glyndebourne Touring Opera in the same year.

As a result, he was immediately engaged for that role by several major opera houses, and it was in a new production of La Traviata that he made a successful debut at La Scala in Milan in 1990.

Another important role for Alagna has been Rodolfo in Puccini's La Boheme, which he has sung at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Monte Carlo Opera, La Scala, the Liceo in Barcelona, and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London.

Alagna has sung in all of the world's major opera houses, many of them with his equally successful wife, soprano Angela Gheorghiu. The two have made a number of recordings, including Massenet's Manon, Puccini's La Rondine and Gounod's Romeo et Juliette.

In 1996 Alagna was appointed a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and in 1997 he was named Lyric Artist of the Year by the Victoires de la Musique Francaise. In February 2001 he was presented with La Medaille Vermeil de la Ville de Paris, the highest distinction the Mayor of Paris can bestow on a French citizen.