Giacomo Puccini: Manon Lescaut

Edited by Roger Parker (2014)

Two-volume set: score + critical commentary included pp. I-XXXVII, 1-405 / I-VI, 407-624
NR 139071
Piano vocal score available
CP 139704

Composed between 1889 and 1892, Manon Lescaut – the first of Puccini’s operas – premiered at Turin’s Teatro Regio on 1 February 1893: since then, Puccini made a bewildering number of changes to Manon over a period of around thirty years, until a run at La Scala, conducted by Toscanini, in 1923.

The critical edition of Manon Lescaut allows performers for the first time to choose freely between the versions of the opera that have survived in various sources, and also to base their performances on a musical text that is has been thorough revised, and without the numerous editorial interventions that were added to the traditional performing materials long after the composer’s death.

There are three basic versions of the score that can be realized:

• an 1893 version, which constitutes the most surprising new perspective on such a well-known work by reconstructing Manon more-or-less as it emerged from the first round of performances in Turin in 1893 (with the original Act I finale, the first version of Manon’s Act IV aria, and the uncut version of the final duet in Act IV);

• a “mid-career” version which reconstructs the opera as it was imagined by Puccini in the first decade of the new century, when he sanctioned the almost complete omission of Manon’s Act IV aria;

• and finally, the last version that Puccini lived to approve, with Manon’s aria restored, albeit with a revised literary text.