Saturday, June 9, 2012


OMG tickets for the SLO's Manon Lescaut is now on sale! You can enjoy early bird discounts from now till 24 June at the SISTIC, before they are released for sale at SISTIC counters on the 25th. Personally I'm really looking forward to seeing Ee-Ping play this role, a born-and-bred Singaporean playing the prima donna for once, and I'm sure she has the chops to deliver a great night. Read more from press release excerpts below including a short interview with director E. Loren Meeker. And don't forget to get your early bird tickets from the SISTIC website!


Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut
Sung in Italian with English and Chinese surtitles

Esplanade Theatre, 8pm
31st August,1st, 3rd and 4th September 2012

Manon - Ee-Ping, soprano
Lescaut - Andrew Fernando, baritone
Renato Des Grieux - Lee Jae Wook, tenor
Geronte - William Lim, baritone
Edmondo - Melvin Tan, tenor
Dancing Master and Lamplighter - Lemuel dela Cruz, tenor
Innkeeper and Captain - Martin Ng, bass-baritone

This August, the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) will present the Singapore premiere of Manon Lescaut, the first successful opera by famed Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini on 31 August, 1, 3, and 4 September 2012 at the Esplanade Theatre.

Adapted from a 1731 book by French author, the Abbé Prévost, the opera tells of Manon, who is travelling with her brother Lescaut, when she crosses paths with and falls for Des Grieux, a poor student. They elope to Paris to escape Geronte, the wealthy Treasurer General, who wants Manon for himself. The love affair between Manon and Des Grieux is shortlived, as he cannot satisfy Manon’s material desires.

Although she eventually leaves Des Grieux to become Geronte’s mistress, she yearns for the sincere love that Des Grieux had for her. When Lescaut reunites the desperate lovers, Manon’s materialism and greed results in her being branded a thief and exiled to America. Will the lovers overcome the odds?

Ee-Ping as the Woodbird in The Ring


The true magic of Manon Lescaut lies within its wealth of detail in Puccini’s distinct style of character portrayal. While the original novel portrayed Manon as fickle-­‐minded, Puccini chooses to paint Manon in a more sympathetic and favourable light, highlighting the woes of a fallen woman who simply made the wrong choices. The pièce de résistance of the opera is its luscious intermezzos, formed by some of Puccini’s most remarkable and enchanting music.

The progressive style of the score challenges the performer to depict the many facets of Manon’s character, exhibiting some of Puccini’s mature work with rich orchestration, recurring musical motifs, soaring duets and the gentle pathos of a dying girl. The inventive, fresh and lyrical melody that envelops the music is what makes Manon Lescaut a widely acclaimed, resounding success.

Dubbed by the New York Times as “musically rich and dramatically effective”, the opera proved to be the catalyst that reignited Puccini’s floundering career and paved the way for a string of successes such as La Boheme, Tosca and Madama Butterfly. It was Manon Lescaut that first marked Puccini’s breakthrough as an opera composer, making him an overnight star worthy of comparison to great Italian composers like Verdi.


E. Loren Meeker, the first female director for an SLO opera production, is a critically acclaimed director and the 2006 recipient of the John Moriarty Award, will helm this enthralling piece. Meeker, a stage director and choreographer whose work has been presented at leading companies across the United States, is constantly breaking boundaries with her unique vision and original approach to work.

Meeker said, “Manon Lescaut is the story of a woman torn between true love and a life of luxury. Puccini’s first operatic success begs the audience to decide if Manon is a woman of loose morals who deserves her wretched fate, or if she is a forward thinking feminist who unabashedly embraces all that she yearns for. Puccini once said, “Massenet feels the subject as a Frenchman, with the powder and minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion.”

This staging of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut focuses on the larger themes and emotions permeating the score and libretto – love lust, and passion; the feeling of being trapped in your environment; material desires versus the desires of your heart. We are developing a contemporary world filled with characters that are fascinated by the image they present to society. I am honoured to be working with Singapore Lyric Opera to produce this iconic opera that built the foundation for a series of operatic success for Puccini.”


Once again, the SLO's production of Manon Lescaut is on 31st August,1st, 3rd and 4th September 2012 at the Esplanade Theatre. Get your tickets by 24 June to enjoy early-bird discounts.

Additional discounts:

Early Bird discount from 24 May to 24 June
- 20% discount to SLO Friends, all OCBC credit cards, NTUC Union card, AlumNUS card, NUSS card
- 15% discount to general public via SISTIC internet booking

After Early Bird promotion from 25 June onwards
- 20% discount to Corporate/Group/School bookings for purchase of 10 tickets (available at SLO Office only), OCBC Arts Platinum card
- 15% discount to SLO Friends, all other OCBC credit cards, NTUC Union card, AlumNUS card, NUSS card, Kinokuniya Privilege card, full-time students with student pass, full-time Nsmen, Senior Citizens (62 yrs and above, password to be opened to all 3 channels).

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