Passion and flight end in the solitude of the desert with Manon’s heartrending ‘Ah, non voglio morir!’. This work is an example of an ‘adventure opera’ in which the heroine and her lover, Des Grieux, are taken from France to New Orleans and from the splendour of a Paris apartment to prison and finally deportation. Love and poverty, opportunism and money, desire and murder… All are so intermingled that the novel by Abbé Prévost, which first inspired the composer, was banned on publication in 1731. As for the opera, it met with instant success and confirmed the talent of the young Puccini who set these unforgettable scenes of drama to music. The Polish director Mariusz Trelinski, also head of Warsaw’s Teatr Wielki, makes his debut here at La Monnaie in association with Carlo Rizzi, who once again conducts our orchestra.