Kristine Opolais in the title role of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut/Photo by Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera.

In opera, there are two big Manons: Manon, by Massenet, and Manon Lescaut, by Puccini. Naming the latter opera, you want to pronounce the second “n” in “Manon,” all’italiana. It seems to me that the former opera is more popular in the opera world now. But Manon Lescaut is a beautiful, striking, and powerful work, especially when conducted so well as Fabio Luisi did at the Metropolitan Opera.

The Met had a new production, courtesy of Sir Richard Eyre....