On February 25, 28, & March 3, Ailyn Pérez returns to the Wiener Staatsoper to star as the title role of Massenet’s Manon. Andrei Serban’s stylish and effective production of Manon, updated to the post World War 1 period, highlights a film noir style, where lighting is dark, props are minimal, and performers move in a stylized manner. Frédéric Chaslin conducts the Wiener Staatsoper Orchestra and Chorus.
Joining Ms. Pérez on stage is Jean-François Borras as her besotted lover Chevalier des Grieux, as well as Jongmin Park as Graf des Grieux, Orhan Yildiz as Lescaut, Thomas Ebenstein as Guillot de Morfontaine, Clemens Unterreiner as Brétigny, Ileana Tonca as Poussette, Svetlina Stoyanova as Javotte, and Szilvia Vörös as Rosette. Ailyn has sung the role of this tragic beauty who yearns for the finer things in life several times before, including at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Valencia’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, and the Dallas Opera where Theater Jones heralded her vocally and dramatically magnificent performance, saying:
“She has a glorious voice, moving to spinto territory, with secure high notes and remarkable flexibility. She is equally impressive at full volume or when floating a super soft sound. But she is doing more than just singing. Every note is part of a phrase that communicates the words and the emotions behind them. It reminds of the stage presence of someone like Maria Callas.”
Photo credit: Dario Acosta