Manon, who is to be taken to a convent at her father's behest, arrives in the city of Amiens with her brother Lescaut. There, the student Des Grieux instantly falls in love with her. But the tax collector Geronte is also interested in the girl and plans to kidnap her. Des Grieux beats him to the punch and flees with Manon. But since he cannot satisfy her need for luxury, she leaves him for Geronte. She lives with him in prosperity until she is plagued by longing for Des Grieux. When they are reunited, they try to escape again. Manon, however, is arrested and deported. Des Grieux is allowed to accompany her to America. There, the young woman dies in the arms of her lover during their renewed flight.
Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) as seen by director Àlex Ollé, who belongs to the Catalan artists' collective La Fura dels Baus, is one of the great successes of the 2019/20 Frankfurt opera season. Ollé had his set designer Alfons Flores build a very realistic-looking setting in which Manon's story is told just as realistically: Bus station, table dance bar, refugee camp.