On 26 June, The Grange Festival opened their new production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, directed by Stephen Lawless and conducted by Francesco Cilluffo.
Following his performances at the Grange in December 2020 as Canio Pagliacci with Opera Ensemble, tenor Peter Auty makes his Grange Festival debut as Des Grieux, a role he has previously sung for Opera Holland Park ("Peter Auty sang with power and a fine Italianate tone...” - Opera Magazine) and the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and has been commended by critics for his vocal power and Italianate style:
"The singers are superb, particularly Peter Auty’s Des Grieux." ... "Passionately intense, Auty is terrific in one of the most exacting roles in the entire tenor repertory."
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
"Peter Auty, singing Des Grieux [...] was on good vocal form, delivering an Italianate account of the role, venturing gamely into the higher register."
Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack
"...both Pritchard and Auty bring impressive qualities to the production – Auty, in particular, displays a strong sense of Puccinian style..."
George Hall, The Stage
"Peter Auty’s Des Grieux began with a fine combination of ardour and naivety, so the gusts of passion disturbed the placid nature of his existence. By Act Two he had matured and was reluctant, at first, to return to Manon. Auty sang with remarkable intensity and the result was full-blooded and full-throated, the scenes with Pritchard having moments of soaring power."
Robert Hugill, Opera Today
Manon Lescaut runs until 24 July - read more about the production here.
Photo credit: Simon Annand