Karita Mattila gives a career high performance in Puccini's passionate opera, Manon Lescaut conducted by James Levine - filmed live at the Metropolitan Opera in Hi-Definition. Continuing its collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera and its Metropolitan Opera : Live in High-Definition series, EMI Classics is proud to release the METs classic 28 year old production of Puccini's Manon Lescaut on EMI Classics DVD. This release marks a special moment in the Metropolitan Opera's history. It is the first time in 18 years since Puccini's Manon Lescaut was last performed on its great stage. Manon Lescaut, a French tale telling of a beautiful young woman destroyed by her conflicting needs for love and luxury, was Puccini's first successful opera and the work that thrust him onto the international stage as Italy's foremost opera composer. Finnish soprano, Karita Mattila, as Manon Lescaut is the star of the performance. Her interpretation of the first of Puccini's many archetypal heroines is "riveting" - New York Times. Interestingly Mattila waited until her voice had gained maturity and richness before, when she was nearly 40, she first portrayed her Manon Lescaut in 1999. She now returns - enticing James Levine to conduct the work for the first time since 1981. After 35 highly successful years as Music director of the Metropolitan Opera, a relationship unparalleled and unique in the musical world today, James Levine leads a fresh and intelligent performance.
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