The libretto for this work, by playwright Henri Meilhac and journalist Philippe Gille, is based on L'histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost. Retaining the novel's eighteenth-century setting, Massenet's opera offers noisy crowd scenes, passionate duets, and tense melodramas, which certainly pleased the Opera-Comique's patrons - it was an instant popular success. This is the Schirmer libretto, with an English translation by George and Phyllis Mead.
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