The Dallas Opera : Manon Lescaut

What do Jules Massenet, Madonna, Giacomo Puccini and Cyndi Lauper all have in common? As it happens, they all came up with music portraying women who know exactly what they want, and who aren’t shy about admitting it.

Cyndi Lauper had a hit in 1983 with “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Madonna expressed a similar sentiment two years later in “Material Girl” — which includes the unabashed lyric, “’cause the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mr. Right.”

As for Puccini and Massenet, they both wrote operas about a fictional material girl named Manon Lescaut. She had similar requirements for Mr. Right, and she also had a whole lot of fun — at least for a while.

Actually, it was a fellow named Antoine-Francois Prevost d’Exile — more commonly known as the Abbe Prevost — who got it all started. He was an author, and in the 1700s he wrote a sensational, multi-volume series of novels. The last of them was Manon Lescaut — the story of a willfull young woman torn between true love and a life of luxury. The book did so well that Massenet, Puccini and a third composer, Daniel Auber, all set it to music in the 19th century.

When : Now – March 9
Where : Winspear Opera House -2403 Flora Street
Website : The Dallas Opera
Price : $19+

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