Matthew Polenzani — Des Grieux, Manon, Royal Opera House
Matthew Polenzani reprises the role of the Chevalier des Grieux in Jules Massenet’s Manon at the Royal Opera House."
“I love coming back to London”, he says, “It’s a very good house and they take care of you as a singer. And the level of music making is unbelievably high”
This production of Massenet’s Manon, directed by Laurent Pelly, won acclaim when it premiered in London with Anna Netrebko in 2010. Polenzani sang the part with her when the Royal Opera House took the production on tour to Japan later that summer. He also sang the part in this same production when it was heard at Teatro alla Scala, Milan in 2012, with Ermonela Jaho, who sings Manon in this first London revival.
“It’s a beautiful production”, he says, Very well thought out, and lots to see and think about” Polenzani has worked with Pelly before, most recently in Offenbach The Tales of Hoffman in 2013. “You don’t often get directors who get along with singers well and can talk things through clearly”. Even though he has done the part several times, each new run is unique because dynamics change with different casts. “Anna and Ermonela are both fabulously beautiful, but they have different personalities and different voices. And this time, I’m also singing with Ailyn Pérez in the last few performances in this run. I’ve worked with her before, too, so I know her sentiments about Manon. It’s good to make changes with different singers at different times, it keeps things interesting. A director can’t just tell a singer ’in bar 52, walk stage left’. You need to be able to work with each other so it feels natural”.
Read the entire feature via Opera Today
Image: Royal Opera House