Since it was first published in 1731, L'Histoire du Chevalier Dex Grieux et de Manon Lescaut has been the object of numerous adaptations for both stage and screen. In the 19th century, Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber, Jules Massenet and Giacomo Puccini used Abbe Prevost's novel as the theme for their respective operas. After 1912, cinema transposed the story of Manon and the Knight into varying degrees of melodramatic intensity. In 1974 British choreographer Kenneth MacMillan in turn decided to focus on the two protagonists for an ambitious ballet that could translate the feelings and emotions of two souls abused by the accidents of life and their own personal weaknesses. In short, how a young girl on her way to a convent manages to elope with the young student with whom she has just fallen in love, only to leave him to escape destitution and finally allow herself to be persuaded by her brother Lescaut to yield to the advances of wealthy "protectors." Rather than reuse the score of Massenet's opera, MacMillan entrusted Leighton Lucas with the task of arranging a series of extracts taken from a selection of the French composer's operatic, symphonic and vocal scores. The end result was a huge success from it's debut performance in London in 1974 onwards. Sixteen years later, L'Histoire de Manon entered the Paris Opera Ballet's repertoire.