Paris: Au Ménestrel [PNs H. et. Cie. 7067.; G.H. 1386.], 1895. Large octavo. Half brown leather with marbled boards, dark orange title label gilt to spine, with original publisher's stiff decorative wrappers printed in black and gold bound in. 1f. (half title), 1f. (dedication), 1f. (title), [i] (named cast list, including Marie Heilbronn and [Jean-Alexandre] Talazac), [ii] (description of scenes), [i] (blank), 344 pp. music
With autograph musical quotation signed by the composer dated November 24, 1909 to title.
Slightly browned and soiled; first two leaves reinforced with paper tape to inner margin; former owner's bookplate to verso of two leaves; publisher's hand stamp to cast list; slight offsetting of autograph to blank verso of dedication; lower joint split prior to final leaf.
First performed in Paris at the Opéra-Comique on January 19, 1884. Libretto based on Antoine-François Prévost's novel L'histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut (1731).
Although an early work, Manon may be Massenet's best-known and most popular opera. "The designation ‘opéra comique’ is misleading: there are only a few lines of spoken dialogue. But in their place there is much mélodrame, faultlessly handled at a technical level... In the final analysis Manon is by way of being a ‘highlights’ opera, lacking the cohesion and economy of more mature Massenet works, but those highlights were seldom surpassed in the composer’s oeuvre." Rodney Milnes in Grove Music Online. Item #23039
Price: $650.00 other currencies