This early Puccini masterpiece makes a welcome return to Covent Garden after an absence of over 20 years, in a new production by Jonathan Kent under the baton of Music Director Antonio Pappano. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her character. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. This is a much anticipated new production, and Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.