Peter Tchaikovsky "Eugene Onegin" (Lyric scenes in two acts)
Performed in Russian, with syncronized English supertitles
World premiere: Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia
Premiere of this production: 01 Sep 2006
The performance has 1 intermission
Running time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Libretto by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Konstantin Shilovsky based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel in verses of the same name
Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin have long ago broken all records for opera production longevity. And now the Bolshoi is about to offer our regenerated Russian society new interpretations of this masterpiece, embracing all recent developments in theatre and musicological thought. To work out new aesthetic principles for the stage treatment of Russian opera classics - is a colossal undertaking for which the Bolshoi Theatre has been preparing itself for many a year.
The new Eugene Onegin is more than a mechanical substitute of a new for an old production. The basic idea of the project is to return to the musical source, the composer’s initial conception, which he managed to realize at the Maly Theatre 1879 premiere of his lyrical scenes. "I will never give this opera to the Imperial Theatre Directorate, before it has been seen at the Conservatoire. I wrote it for the Conservatoire because it is not the routine and convention of a large stage, with its meaningless, if sumptuous productions, that I need here…" (From Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky’s letters to K. Altman).
The man responsible for this new, virtually chamber production of Tchaikovsky’s opera is Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose large scale opera productions have garnered many prizes. At the Bolshoi, Tcherniakov continues to develop the other trend in his staging stylistics, to which he put a start in his previous production for the Theatre’s New Stage - Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.
Madame Larina. Her daughters: Tatiana, Olga. Nurse. Vladimir Lensky. Eugene Onegin. Neighbors, guests.
The Larins’ home.
Lensky, a neighbor of the Larins and Olga’s bridegroom, unexpectedly brings his friend Onegin, recently arrived from the capital, to visit them. The unknown guest causes a kerfuffle in the dailyroutine of the Larin household: no one hides their interest in him. Onegin doubts in the wisdom of his friend’s choice. The meeting with Onegin has made a deep impression on Tatiana.
Noticing Tatiana’s agitation, her nurse tries to distract her and calm her down. Left alone, Tatiana writes a letter to Onegin. She sees him as her chosen one. At dawn, Tatiana asks her nurse todeliver the letter to Onegin.
Tatiana. Eugene Onegin.
Tatiana anxiously awaits an answer to her declaration of love. Onegin arrives. He is touched by Tatiana’s sincerity, but cannot reciprocate her feelings.
Madame Larina. Tatiana. Olga. Vladimir Lensky. Eugene Onegin. Nurse. Zaretsky. Neighbors, guests.
Lensky has persuaded Onegin to pay another visit to the Larins. But he is irritated by everything. Deciding to punish Lensky for bringing him, he demonstratively flirts with Olga. Olga’s promptresponse to Onegin’s advances, afflicts Lensky. He picks a quarrel with Onegin and challenges him to a duel.
Vladimir Lensky. Eugene Onegin. Zaretsky. Guillot.
Lensky awaits Onegin. He thinks with pain and anguish about his life. Onegin, who arrives late, is reluctant to take the conflict to its conclusion. Both men feel privately that they have actedrashly. But it is too late, there is no going back. A shot is fired, Lensky is fatally wounded.
Eugene Onegin. Tatiana. Prince Gremin. Guests.
Several years later.
After a long absence, Onegin has returned to life in the capital and meets Tatiana. She is married and social life in the capital now revolves round her. The transformation in Tatiana and the factshe is now out of reach arouse mad passion in Onegin.
Tatiana. Eugene Onegin.
Onegin manages to obtain a meeting with Tatiana. His words ring with repentance and regret. Demanding that his passion be reciprocated, he extorts from Tatiana the admission that she still loveshim.But her decision to stay with her husband is final. Onegin is distraught.
1 Teatralnaya ploschad (1 Theatre Square), Moscow, Russia
4/2 Teatralnaya ploschad (4/2 Theatre Square), Moscow, Russia