This Day in Music History: 1893 Puccini's Opera "Manon Lescaut" premieres in Turin.
Manon Lescaut, Puccini‘s first major success, is a work of impassioned emotions based on the 18th-century novel by Abbé Prévost, depicting the doomed infatuation of Chevalier des Grieux for beautiful, fun-loving Manon. Puccini clothes the story in warmly passionate music that makes a direct appeal to the listener‘s emotions. “Manon”, wrote Puccini to his publisher Giulio Ricordi in 1889, “is a heroine I believe in and therefore she cannot fail to win the heart of the public.” This turned out to be a truly prophetic statement since none of Puccini’s other world successes were received on their fi rst nights as rapturously as Manon Lescaut. The popularity of Puccini’s great masterpiece has never waned and the production at the Chemnitz Opera House was hailed as “a magnificent event” and “moments we go to the opera for.”