“Lyric soprano Ailyn Pérez in the role of Manon was a dominant presence in all six of the opera’s scenes. From Pérez’ first scene at the Amiens Inn’s coach stop, she projected the image of a pleasure-seeking young girl, despondent at her family’s decision she should enter a convent.
Pérez was affecting in her performance of Je suis encore tout étourdie. The aria, describing her wonder at a world she had never experienced, is the prelude to her character’s quest for adventure, her chance meeting with des Grieux to her quest for love.
Pérez fulfilled the vocal requirements of the six scenes, including her showpiece arias. Pérez excelled in the legato singing of the hauntingly beautiful (and sentimental) Adieu, notre petite table (sung at a moment when she knew her lover would be kidnapped by his father, permitting herself to become the mistress of a wealthier suitor). She was triumphant in the brilliant coloratura fireworks of Je marche sur tous les chemins.”