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Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera’s production of Massenet’s Manon, for the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, has a similar problem. Seen in flashback, it’s cute at best, dull at worst in its updated sets and costumes. It all becomes too stagey, exacerbated by its picture-book backdrops. Patrick Davin’s conducting injects some style as does Annick Massis’s Manon, though I am afraid I will be as ungallant as to say that the role is perhaps a little too youthful for her now, despite her still fragrant charms. Alessandro Liberatore’s Des Grieux is not a model of taste or vocal fit: ‘Ah! Fuyez’ proves quite an uncomfortable disaster. The supporting cast is so-so, the chorus drifts in so many ways.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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