Today I want to share the intermezzo from Puccini’s opera Manon Lescaut. This
soul-drenching intermezzo is the prelude to the third act of the opera (no words,
just music). Here is what I suggest you do. First, watch Antonio Pappano,
conductor and music director of the Royal Opera, break down this intermezzo for
us on piano.
Then watch Riccardo Muti’s performance with La Scala:
But don’t stop there, check out Ricardo Muti rehearsing this opera with an orchestra. You’ll see that the conductor’s main job is not done in the performance but in the rehearsals. The conductor is the conduit between the dead score and the live performance. His job is to bring out the beauty and the complexity of the work in a unified performance of dozens of instruments, as the composer intended.