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February 2025

Manon - Ballet


Torn between desire for a life of luxury and lustre, and her true love for Des Grieux – thus is the forlorn and fickle Manon.


The ballet adaptation of Abbé Prévost’s novel L’Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut shows Sir Kenneth MacMillan at his very finest, attesting as it does to his profound insight into human psychology, choreographic craft and narrative skill. The artist admirably expresses the power of fateful love in the central characters’ impassioned duets.


A highly dramatic and heart-wrenching ballet, Manon aptly depicts the heroine’s desperate endeavour to escape a life of poverty and degradation. Her one and only advantage is youth and mesmerising beauty. Manon Lescaut and Des Grieux, a frivolous student, fall in love with each other, which gives rise to an extremely emotional and destructive drama. The ill-fated couple’s love is subject to a variety of trials and failures, yet it grows ever stronger. 

Program and cast

Choreography - Kenneth MacMillan

Music - Jules Massenet

Musical arrangement and Orchestration - Martin Yates

Sets - Cinzia Lo Fazio

Lights - Jacopo Pantani

Prague State Opera

The State Opera today


The State Opera (formerly the State Opera Prague, between 1948 and 1992 the Smetana Theatre, and originally the New German Theatre) has been a part of the National Theatre since 2012. The Opera and Ballet ensembles give repertory performances at the State Opera.




The Prague State Opera resides in the building which on January 5, 1888 was opened as a Prague German stage with the performance of Wagner’s opera, The Mastersingers of Nürnberg. In the 19th century, Prague Germans performed in the Estate’s Theater in alternation with a Czech company. Desire for their own theater led to negotiations in 1883 for the construction of a new theater building for the German Theater Association. Over the next three years, a blueprint was drawn up and handed over to the Vienna atelier of Fellner and Hellmer. Also sharing in the design was the architect of the Vienna Municipal Theater, Karl Hasenauer, while Prague architect Alfons Wertmüller took part in the construction. Financing came from private collections. With its spacious auditorium and neo-Rococo decoration, this theater building is among the most beautiful in Europe.




By car

On Wilsonova street, from the left lane close to the State Opera building take the slip road to the Slovan above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.


By tram


By daytime tram No. 11 to the stop “Muzeum”, through the underpass beneath Legerova street in the direction of the NationalMuseum, at the crossroads turn right along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.


By daytime trams Nos. 3, 9, 14 and 24 or night trams Nos. 51, 52, 54, 55, 56 and 58 to the stop “Václavské náměstí”, then by foot uphill on the left side of the Wenceslas Square to the traffic lights across Wilsonova and Vinohradská streets. Then turn left along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.


By metro

To the “Muzeum” station, lines A and C (green and red), and then by foot along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

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