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Eugene Onegin

Peter I. Tschaikowski (1840-1893)

Opera in 3 acts
Libretto by the composer & Konstantin Schilovsky based on Alexander  Pushkin's poem (1830)
First performed March 29 1879, Maly Theater, Moscow
This production opened November 20 2016

Sung in Russian with German & English surtitles
Introductory talk (in German/on video) will appear here shortly before run begins

Conductor Sebastian Weigle / Finnegan Downie Dear (June 11 & 13)

Tatjana Penny Sofroniadou
Larina Barbara Zechmeister
Olga Judita Nagyová
Filijewna Elena Zilio
Eugen Onegin Domen Križaj
Lenski Gerard Schneider / Jonathan Abernethy
Gremin Kihwan Sim
Saretzki Barnaby Rea
Triquet Matthew Swensen

The landowner Larina and her two daughters Tatiana and Olga welcome Lenski, a poet and neighbour, who has brought his friend Onegin with him. Lenski confesses his love for Olga. Tatiana is fascinated by Onegin. He seems like the answer to her dreams and falls in love with the stranger. Sc. 2. Night. Tatiana writes a letter to Onegin, proclaiming her love for him. Sc. 3. Onegin coldy explains to Tatiana that he is not able, and doesn't want, to reciprocate her feelings or share her hopes: he's not cut out for marriage. Act II.  Larina's throwing a party to celebrate Tatiana's name-day. Onegin's bored and, to take his revenge on Lenski for accepting the invitation, starts flirts with Olga. Lenski challenges Onegin to a duel. Sc. 2. Lenski is shot dead by Onegin. Act III After years spent abroad Onegin meets Tatiana again, at a ball in St. Petersburg. She is married to Prince Gremin. Onegin falls in love with Tatiana. Sc. 2. Onegin confesses to Tatiana that he loves her and regrets rejecting her. It's too late: Tatiana intends to respect her marriage vows and will never see him again.

Spring 1877, Tchaikovsky had already brought four operas to the stage – without success, when a friend told him about Alexander Pushkin‘s verse novel Jewgenij Onegin. After a sleepless night the composer had already sketched the nitty gritty out in his head. »I'm searching for an intimate, yet powerful drama about a conflict which really moves me«, he wrote, envisaging an opera without murder, poison, daggers and intrigue, to which he gave the subtitle »Lyric Scenes«. He achieved a moving masterpiece, which dipicts loneliness and the conflict of human emotions. Tatjana longs for romantic love in the Russian provinces, which she has only read about in books, and thinks to have found the ideal partner in Eugene Onegin – but he rejects her. Years later, Tatjana is now married to Prince Gremin, he realises he made a mistake. This is made brilliantly clear by Dorothea Kirschbaum in Jim Lucassen’s production, which sets the action in post Soviet Russia.