Manon Lescaut

Approximate Running Time: Two hours, forty minutes, with 2 intermissions

In Italian with English captions

What's Going On?

On her way to a convent school, the beautiful Manon Lescaut meets a young and poor student, des Grieux.  She abandons her brother, Lescaut, and another admirer, the wealthy Geronte di Ravoir, to elope with des Grieux to Paris in Geronte’s coach.

When the money runs out, the two lovers part.  Manon goes to Geronte, who can support her in a luxurious home, even though she still longs for des Grieux.  When her brother visits her at Geronte’s home, Manon confesses her love for des Grieux.  Lescaut arranges for des Grieux to meet with Manon again.  The lovers reunite and resolve to run away from Paris.  Manon delays to collect her jewels (all gifts from Geronte).  Geronte discovers them together, and Manon makes fun of him. In a rage, Geronte goes to the police, denouncing Manon as a prostitute. The police arrest Manon.

Des Grieux discovers that Manon has been sentenced to deportation. With the help of her brother, des Grieux joins her on the ship bound for America and later helps her to escape.  But the escape proves fatal to the fragile Manon.  Lost in the desert, she dies of thirst in des Grieux’s arms.


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