Vladivostok, Primorsky Stage, Great Hall

Eugene Onegin

Lyric opera in three acts

Performed in Russian
(the performance will have synchronised English and Russian supertitles)
Holidays at the Mariinsky

Performers

Conductor:

Anton Torbeev

Eugene Onegin: Dmitry Nelasov
Tatyana: Anastasiya Kikot
Lensky: Yevgeny Mizin
Olga: Daria Sychova
Prince Gremin: Yevgeny Plekhanov

Credits

Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Libretto by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Konstantin Shilovsky after the poetic novel of the same name by Alexaner Pushkin

Stage Director: Alexei Stepanyuk (Honoured Artist of Russia)
Artistic Director: Vyacheslav Okunev (Peoples Artist of Russia)
Choreographer: Aidar Akhmetov (Honoured Artist of the Republic of Tartarstan)
Lighting Designer: Vladimir Sterlin
Chorus Masters: Larisa Shveikovskaya and Anna Pipia
Musical Preparation: Andrei Annenkov

SYNOPSIS

Act I
Scene 1. The Larin Family Estate
Madam Larina, her daughters Tatiana and Olga and their nurse are enjoying fine evening weather. A group of peasants bring their mistress a decorated sheaf of wheat, a customary gesture to celebrate the end of harvest. Unexpectedly guests appear; their neighbor and Olga’s fiancé the poet Lensky and his friend Eugene Onegin, recently arrived from St Petersburg. The visit of the city dandy disrupts the calm routine of the estates inhabitants. Tatiana is deeply affected by her meeting with Onegin. Lensky, finally alone with Olga, declares his love for her.

Scene 2. Tatiana’s Letter
Tatiana is overflowing with new emotions. Seeing the turmoil Tatiana is in, Filippevna the nurse tries to distract her and calm her. However, left alone, Tatiana writes a letter to Onegin in which she confesses her love for him. At dawn she asks her nurse to give the letter to the guest from St Petersburg.

Scene 3.The Explanation
Tatiana anxiously awaits an answer to her letter. Onegin arrives. He explains that while he finds Tatiana’s affection sweet he does not reciprocate her feelings.

Act II
Scene 4. A Ball at the Larin Estate
Many guests have come to celebrate Tatiana’s saint’s day. The provincial ball, with its gossip and idle chatter, utterly bores Onegin. Annoyed with Lensky for bringing him there he begins to pay court to Olga. Lensky, enraged by the behavior of his friend, challenges Onegin to a duel. The guests try in vain to reconcile the friends.

Scene 5. The Duel
Lensky, waiting for the duel to commence, melancholically reflects upon his life. Onegin arrives, and like Lensky, he is ready to make peace. Yet the laws of honour make this impossible. A shot is fired. Lensky falls to the ground dead.

Act III
Scene 6. A Ball in St Petersburg
After a long absence Onegin returns to St Petersburg. At a ball held in an aristocratic home he meets Tatiana, now married to Prince Gremin. Onegin is shocked: how is possible that this noble, refined society lady is the same girl he once chided for unguarded emotions?! Uneasily Onegin is forced to admit: “Alas. Without a shadow of doubt I am in love like a boy, a passionate youth”.

Scene 7. The Meeting
A final encounter between Onegin and Tatiana: Onegin’s words are full of repentance. Begging for reciprocation he tries to wrest a declaration of love from her. But Tatiana is firm in her decision to stay with her husband. In despair Onegin cries out “Ignominy! Anguish! Oh, my pitiable fate!”

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

Pyotr Tchaikovsky began composing for music theatre at the end of 1860’s. By that time he was already a well-known composer of instrumental music and a master of musical arrangements.

However success in the opera music came to him much later. It is probably hard to believe, but for a long time Tchaikovsky himself, his friends and colleagues had doubts whether he was going to make it as an opera composer or not. As it turned out he just needed to find his own path. After writing a historical opera, phantasmagorical and a comic ones Tchaikovsky realized that his strength was in his ability to convincingly convey emotions and feelings of his characters. The first work of this kind was Eugene Onegin (1878) with composer’s note “lyrical scenes”. Its performance on the opera stage was a true triumph of the composer. In Eugene Onegin Tchaikovsky did not intend to reveal deepest philosophic ideas of Pushkin's novel, he focused on main characters – Tatiana, Onegin and Lensky. Three acts of the opera are three dramatic love stories. The first is about Tatiana and her drama, the second one is about Lensky and his tragis death, and the third one is Onegin’s drama, the final scene of which leads to destruction of all Onegin’s hopes. However Tchaikovsky did not forget about other characters creating beautiful musical portraits such as the aria of Olga and aria of Prince Gremin that have become world musical treasures and often are performed in concerts.

Without being “an encyclopidia of Russian life” like the original poem, Tchaikovsky’s opera delicately restores an atmosphere of nobility’s life, immediately immersing the audience in the nineteenth century. The scene of a home concert when young ladies played or sang music (duet of Tatiana and Olga), choir of peasant girls picking berries, the chorus and dance of peasants who came to the mension to tell the “noble mother” about finishing the harvest – they all convey the warmth and charming simplicity of country life of the Russian nobility.

What a colorful mix of a provincial country festivity in the house of the Larin’s with simple dances, stories of hunters and old ladies’ gossiping, a comic French guest and young girls picking on a company commander! In contrast to it there is a scene from the high society – a ball reception in the city palace of Prince Gremin opens with a solemn polonaise!

The production of this opera on the Primorsky Stage is done by wellknown St Petersburg artists – the Meritorious Artist of Russia Alexei Stepanyuk, and the People’s Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Okunev. They preserved the tradition of so called big style. This production rich with historical costumes will remind the audience the famous Eugene Onegin of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Nadezhda Koulygina


World Premiere: 17 March 1879, Maly Theatre, Moscow
Premiere in Vladivostok: 26 January 2014

Running time: 3 hours 40 minutes
The performance has two intervals

Age category 12+

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