Free Jules

Had enough eggnog yet? Perhaps you'd prefer something a little more delicate? The opera program at Washington University has just what you need in the way of light divertissement: Opera Scenes at Umrath. This year's performance is an abridged version of Jules Massenet's Manon, one of the finest examples of Belle Époque musical charm. The tale of a young woman (Manon) who is waylaid by love (in the form of Les Chevalier des Grieux) on her way to the convent, Massenet's opera features fiery duets and tense melodrama delivered with uniquely French charm and vitality. Even better, the performance is free. Imagine yourself cuddling with a comely date in Wash. U.'s Karl Umrath Lounge (1 Brookings Drive; 314-935-5581), drinking in a delightful selection of arias while winter spends its fury outside — it'll be just like you're in Winnaretta Singer's Salon. Performances run from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday (December 14 and 15).
Dec. 14-15, 2007
 
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