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Curated and Produced by Jenna Robertson

Presented by OperaBox, Perth, Australia

1st, 5th, 7th September 2017, 7.30pm

Marist Auditorium, Newman College, 216 Empire Avenue, Churchlands, WA

3rd September 2017, 7.30pm
Concert Performance at Darlington Hall, Darlington, WA

After enchanting audiences world-wide since its premiere at the Paris Opera Comique, OperaBox presented Massenet’s most popular opera, Manon in three performances at the brand new Marist Auditorium theatre at Newman College, Churchlands and a Concert Performance in Darlington Hall. From 1-7th September 2017, Perth saw a fully-staged original production with orchestra, chorus and a cast and creative team made up of local Perth talent alongside artists from USA and Sydney.

Vibrant and full of passion, Manon tells the story of Manon Lescaut, an impressionable young woman who is torn between love and her desire for the lavish Parisian high society. Based on a French novel that inspired both Massenet and Puccini's operas, Massenet’s opera focuses on the emotional journey of the heroine as she struggles with her conflicting desires and her choices.

This exciting new production was conducted by young international conductor Christopher Dragon, returning to Perth from his second season as Associate Conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (USA). Sydney-based opera director Joseph Restubog will make his WA debut with Manon and will be setting the action in the 1920s.

The fantastic cast showcases operatic talent from both Perth and Sydney. Tenor Gaetano Bonfante (Opera Australia) stars as Des Grieux alongside Scottish-Australian soprano Jenna Robertson who returns to Perth to perform the title role of Manon. Baritone Sitiveni Talei (Opera Australia, West Australian Opera) performs the role of Brétigny alongside Kristin Bowtell as Lescaut, Michael Heap as Comte des Grieux, Christina The, Esther Counsel and Belinda Cox.


Manon was performed in the original language of French with English surtitles.

'Music by Jules Massenet

Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille

Creative Producer - Jenna Robertson

Conductor - Christopher Dragon
Director - Joseph Restubog
Assistant Director - Sean Hartley
Set Design - Laura Heffernan
Costume Design - Stephanie Cullingford
Lighting Design - Beth Ewell
Advisor - Jolanta Nagajek
Repetiteur - George Carolin-Unkovich
French Coach - Stella Sulak

Manon - Jenna Robertson
Des Grieux - Gaetano Bonfante
Lescaut - Kristin Bowtell
Comte des Grieux - Michael Heap
Bretigny - Sitiveni Talei
Guillot - Simon Wood
Pousette - Christina The
Javotte - Esther Counsel
Rosette - Belinda Cox
Chorus - Grace Feltoe, Dinali David, Claudia Sosin, Ry Charleson, Jason Kroll, Jonty Coy

and the OperaBox Orchestra led by Ruth Klein Cook 

"My enduring memory of Operabox’s production of Massenet’s Manon will be Jenna Robertson radiant in orange brocaded silk and exuding charisma. Her Manon was a heroine full of ambiguities and I couldn’t steal my eyes from her remarkably expressive face.”

Rosalind Appleby, Limelight Magazine

"Unlike other “alternative” companies, such as the very successful Pinchgut Opera in Sydney, OperaBox is not looking to perform earlier or obscure works, but tackles head-on mainstream operas, some of which somehow get overlooked in Australia." 



"Those on stage were not only making fine artistic contributions, but also clearly looking as though there was nowhere they’d rather be."

Cut Common

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