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The online guide to Massenet’s aria ADIEU NOTRE PETITE TABLE

Read Interesting facts and hear great YouTube Videos about the famous Aria “Adieu notre petite table”.


If you want to hear more about the opera Manon, click on the link to the opera portrait



The aria – synopsis and background


Synopsis: Somebody knocks on the door. Manon’s cousin Lescaut, accompanied by Brétigny, has found them. While Lescaut argues with Des Grieux, Brétigny takes Manon aside and tells her that Des Grieux’s father would not accept a marriage, and that he will abduct his son this evening. De Brétigny offers her as an alternative a life in luxury. Des Grieux goes to the post office to post the letter to his father. Manon is in deep thoughts. Too seductive is De Brétigny’s offer of a life like … a queen. Her decision has been made. Overwhelmed by nostalgical feelings she says goodbye to her small apartment.

“Adieu notre petite table” is one of Manon’s famous arias. She describes her inner conflict between her honest love for Des Grieux and her desire for a glamorous future. In this scene, Manon goes through a roller coaster of emotions. At the beginning she is seized by her love for Des Grieux (mon pauvre chevalier… j’aime), then by uncertainty (je ne suis digne de lui). But then she is incited by the promise of a life in the luxury of a big city and the aria reaches its climax on the word “beauté” in a high B. The motif of Brétigny appears and for a few moments she indulges in the sweet anticipation of her bright future. But soon she is overwhelmed by melancholic feelings of farewell (Adieu notre petite table). She realizes that she buys her queen’s dream dearly, namely with the loss of her love.



The Aria – the text of Adieu notre petite table


Allons! Il le faut pour lui-même…
Mon pauvre chevalier!
Oui, c’est lui que j’aime!
Et pourtant, j’hésite aujourd’hui.

Non, non!… Je ne suis plus digne de lui!
J’entends cette voix qui m’entra”ne
contre ma volonté:
Manon, Manon, tu seras reine…
Reine… par la beauté!
Je ne suis que faiblesse et que fragilité…
Ah! malgré moi je sens couler mes larmes…

Devant ces rêves effacés,
l’avenir aura-t-il les charmes
de ces beaux jours déjà passés?
Peu à peu elle s’est approchée de la table toute servie.

Adieu, notre petite table,
qui nous réunit si souvent!
Adieu, adieu, notre petite table,
si grande pour nous cependant!

On tient, c’est inimaginable…
Si peu de place… en se serrant…
Adieu, notre petite table!

Un même verre était le nôtre,
chacun de nous, quand il buvait
y cherchait les lèvres de l’autre …

Ah! pauvre ami, comme il m’aimait!
Adieu, notre petite table, adieu!
entendant Des Grieux
C’est lui!
Que ma pâleur ne me trahisse pas!


Come on! It is necessary for himself…
My poor knight!
Yes, it is him that I love!
And yet, I hesitate today.

No, no, no! I am not worthy of him anymore!
I hear this voice which enters me
against my will:
Manon, Manon, you will be queen…
Queen… by beauty!
I am only weakness and frailty…
Ah! in spite of myself I feel my tears flowing…

In front of these erased dreams,
will the future have the charms
of these beautiful days already passed?
Little by little she approached the table all served.

Farewell, our small table,
which so often brings us together!
Farewell, farewell, our little table,
so big for us however!

One holds, it is unimaginable…
So little space… by squeezing ourselves…
Farewell, our small table!

The same glass was ours,
each of us, when he drank
sought the lips of the other…

Ah! poor friend, how he loved me!
Farewell, our little table, farewell!
hearing Des Grieux
It’s him!
May my pallor not betray me!




Famous interpretations of Adieu, notre petite table


Wide passages of this aria are written in piano. They are sincere words whose feelings are repeatedly reflected in the orchestra. The Spanish singer Victoria de los Angeles (1923-2005) is considered by many experts to be the best interpreter of the role of Manon. Kesting explains this as follows: “Victoria de los Angeles was the singer of intimate tones for all that is lyrical and quiet in music. Her unique and unmistakable timbre lay in a coat of velvet. Stratton speaks of “a voice for tender half-shade and gentle allusion”. These are the ideal conditions for this intimate key scene of Manon. Let’s listen to Victoria de los Angeles in a live recording that exemplarily documents what has been said.

Allons! …  Adieu, notre petite table (1)  –  de los Angeles


Let us listen to this aria in two more wonderful interpretations. Maria Callas never sang Manon in the opera house.  Listen to her in a concert excerpt.

Allons! …  Adieu, notre petite table (2)  –  Callas


Angela Gheorghiu next.

Allons! …  Adieu, notre petite table (3)  –  Gheorghiu



Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to Adieu notre petite table from the opera Manon




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