“But even more important are the leads. One could hardly imagine a more handsome Des Grieux than Jose Cura or a more beautiful Manon that Maria Guleghina. They are picture-book leads. Neither gives a cookie-cutter performance, and these are not cookie-cutter voices. Cura’s tenor sounds more like a baritone with (great) high notes, and his vocal mannerisms—most which don’t bother me—are very much in evidence. Guleghina is shown at her best here. She is a singer with a huge voice . . . Here she keeps it tamed for the most part. It is always a voice which sounded mature in comparison with her youthful appearance, with a fairly wide vibrato, especially in loud passages. Maybe that angelic face here distracted me. But if it did, so be it.”