Manon Lescaut protracts between excess and absence. The libretto had been created by seven persons altogether: Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Giuseppe Giacosa, Domenico Oliva, Luigi Illica, as well as Giacomo Puccini himself and his publisher Giulio Ricordi. The case was so complicated that a decision was made not to put any name on the title page of the published score. The protagonist herself is also fluctuating between possession and lack thereof. Whatever she has, she loses in a flash. When she has everything, she feels suffocated with the abundance and recalls her indigent lover. When she is to leave with him, she is unable to give up her jewels. This desire leads her from luxury to a place where there is nothing – to the desert, where Manon dies of thirst. There is no water but there is love; some would say – nothing, others – everything.
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